A have-a-go hero pensioner who caught a burglar ransacking his bungalow sent him fleeing empty-handed – by battering him over the head with his WALKING STICK.
Brave Barrie Flood, 86, returned home from the paper shop when he saw the lock on his patio door had been broken.
When he entered the property at 6.15am on Monday (14/12) he found a masked intruder rummaging through his chest of drawers in the lounge.
Quick-thinking Barrie crept up behind the thief and when he saw him bend over “clonked” him over the head with his walking stick.
The heroic widower then tried to trap the crook by refusing to let him escape by waving his stick at him every time he tried to force his way past.
The thief eventually managed to overpower Barrie, who is registered disabled and suffers from swollen legs.
Despite his mobility problems, Barrie chased the burglar through his kitchen before the thief ran out the back door of his home in Allestree, Derby, empty-handed.
Yesterday (Weds) Barrie, a retired Rolls-Royce engine inspector, said he reacted after remembering his national service training more 70 years ago.
He said: “I’d only been to the shop and couldn’t have been gone more than half-an-hour.
“The patio door was open which I knew I had locked before I went out.
“As I walked in there was this lad bending down going through my papers.
“I just instinctively raised my walking stick and whacked him over the head. He gave out a frightened yelp but didn’t go down.
“He turned round and looked at me but didn’t say anything. I shouted: ‘What the hell are you doing in here?’
“It won’t have put him in hospital but I got him good.
“I didn’t really think of anything except wanting him out of the house so I just raised my stick and clonked him over the head.
“I couldn’t get a good look at him because he had a scarf covering his face. I wanted to see his face.
“He tried to get past me but he couldn’t because I was waving my stick at him.
“There was no way he was going to fight back, he was just desperately trying to get out.
“I chased him through the kitchen and out the back door then called the police.
He added: “I did two years of national service following the war and that training must have stuck with me.
“I was trained to fight and that training kicked in.
“We were taught to defend ourselves with whatever was to hand. I’ve never had to defend myself before now.
“I’m just grateful I had my stick with me but if I hadn’t I would have given him a hiding somehow.
“I think the guy was after cash but I don’t have anything here worth stealing.
“He broke through the patio lock using hedge clippers.
“He won’t be back because if he does he’ll get another crack.
“I hope he gets caught. He’s left the house in a right mess. It’ll take me days to tidy it up and I don’t have many people I can ask for help.”
A spokesman for Derbyshire Police said: “At around 6.15am on Monday, December 14, an 86-year-old man returned to his bungalow having visited the local shop.
“He found a man in the lounge, looking through his property.
“He challenged the man and struck him to the head with his walking stick.
“The burglar then ran off empty-handed out of the patio doors he had forced open.
“He is described as being around 5ft 7ins tall and stocky.
“He wore a dark-coloured scarf across his face.”
Anyone with information is urged to contact police on 101.