A female boxer used her combat skills to fight off two opportunist thugs who tried to steal her handbag.
Fearless Kerry Orton, 30, hit one of the hooded attackers with a right hook and elbowed and jabbed a second with her handbag before the stunned pair fled.
She explains how the attack has ’empowered her’ further after knowing she can defend herself – despite only taking up boxing 12 months ago.
But she admits the end result would have been completely different if she hadn’t learned the skills she has and is urging more women to take up self-defence classes.
The Morrison’s compliance manager was attacked moments after getting off the bus to walk home around 5pm on October 21 this year.
Before long, she noticed a ‘young lad no older than 18-years-old’ walk past her and then heard footsteps behind her she initially believed to be a jogger.
The two teen thugs ‘bit off more than they could chew’ when they targeted Kerry, from Parsons Cross, south Yorks., after following her down a badly lit path in rainy conditions.
One of the attackers grabbed her arm while the other tried to force her to the ground using her handbag.
But Kerry, who was wearing a green parka, turned the tables on the unsuspecting pair who got more than they bargained for after attacking her along Collinson Road.
She kept hold of her bag in her elbow crease and hit the one on the right hand side of her with a right hook before jabbing the thug on her left with the sharp corner of her handbag.
Kerry then hit one of the thugs a second time and elbowed the other before the pair, who remain at large, fled the scene.
She said: “It was just a normal working day. I finished work at 5pm and went to get on my usual bus home.
“I got off and have to walk down a road through an area which is isolated because there are lots of empty new-build properties and it’s poorly lit.
“I got six yards down the road when I heard the footsteps slow down and really loud panting behind me, I thought ‘this isn’t good’.
“The guy who walked past me previously grabbed my left arm and started to pull on the handles of my handbag to pull me down to the ground.
“I switched stance and punched the one on the right hand side of me with a right hook and he took abit of a tumble.
“I then rolled my bag around and hit the one on the left hand side of me with my handbag. I then hit the one on the right hand side and elbowed the one on the left hand side of me.
“They bit off more than they could chew. It has empowered me abit more knowing that I can defend myself.
“The boxing made me feel confident enough to try and fight back. If this had happened a year ago there’s no way I would have felt able to do that. It helps me so much.
“You just don’t know what people are capable of these days.
Kerry first became involved with boxing last year through a fundraiser for Cancer Research after her dad Alan Orton was diagnosed with the disease. He has since recovered.
“Life was giving me abit of a beating and I had a lot of anger inside of me. My dad had cancer and I signed up initially to raise money for Cancer Research,” added Kerry.
She has taken part in three white collar boxing matches, losing the first but winning the next two.
Kerry enjoyed it so much she started going to regular classes and has now moved on to Thai boxing.
Boxing trainer Christian Di Paolo, owner of the Ni Yai Muay Thai martial arts gym on Ecclesall Road, said: “She’s got a really good right hook, so I think she will have caused some damage.
“I’m really glad that she felt able to defend herself and I think the boxing will have empowered her to do that.
“I think everyone, and especially women and children, should get some form of self-defence training because you just never know what’s going to happen.”
Thai boxing is a combat sport of Thailand that uses stand-up striking along with various clinching techniques.