Thief jailed after attempting to rob octogenarian who beat him away with walking stick

‘If it happened again I’d react the same but with something heavier,’ grandmother says

Vincent Wood
Monday 10 February 2020 21:26 GMT
Octogenarian tackles 28-year-old burglar and beats him with walking stick

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Louise Thomas

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A robber who threw an 82-year-old shopkeeper to the ground after she attempted beat him away with a walking stick has been jailed.

Aaron Mountford, a 28-year-old homeless man, demanded money from grandmother-of-three June Turner while she was working behind the till of her family newsagents in Hanley, Staffordshire.

But the octogenarian refused, instead fighting him off with a walking stick during the incident on 3 September last year.

Mountford, who had entered the store with his face covered by a sleeping bag, was only able to grab £50 in cash and six packs of cigarettes before fleeing the scene – knocking the elderly woman to the floor as he left.

Ms Turner suffered bruising to her face in the incident, but was otherwise unharmed.

Appearing in Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court on 7 February, Mountford pleaded guilty to the robbery, and will now have two years added to an existing four-and-a-half year sentence

Ms Turner meanwhile was awarded £250 from the office of the High Sheriff for her bravery.

Speaking to the Stoke Sentinel at the time of the incident, she said: “It was just my instinct to try to stop him and give him a good whack. I think he was quite shocked, he wasn’t expecting that. I bet he thought ‘she’s getting on a bit’.

“You can’t give way to them, but you do have to be careful in case they’ve got knives. I didn’t give him a chance to get a knife out because I was already hitting him. If it happened again I’d react the same but with something heavier.”

Detective Constable Simon Chawner, of Staffordshire Police, said: “This was a violent and aggressive attack on a vulnerable elderly woman for the sake of stealing just £50 in cash.

“Although we don’t recommend that people take matters into their own hands, the actions of the woman in this case were brave and selfless.

“We’re glad that Mountford has now been sentenced.”

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