Friday 24 March 2017

Five convicted for 'supergran' raid

Ann Timson, 71, was hailed as the 'handbag heroine' after tackling the six-strong mob of raiders
Ann Timson, 71, was hailed as the 'handbag heroine' after tackling the six-strong mob of raiders

A gang of five men whose attempt to raid a jewellers was foiled by a 71-year-old "supergran" wielding a handbag have been convicted, police said.

Retired market trader Ann Timson was hailed as the "handbag heroine" after tackling the six-strong mob who were armed with sledgehammers and trying to smash the windows of Michael Jones Jewellers in Northampton town centre.

The raiders, who had arrived at the scene on three scooters, drove away just moments after the red-coated pensioner began lashing out at them with the large black handbag in February.

Ms Timson, from Northampton, said she had been shopping in town when she bumped into a friend and stopped to have a chat when she heard a loud revving noise.

She saw a young man running up to the corner of the store, swiftly followed by three others.

Ms Timson said: "My mother's instinct kicked in and I ran across the road shouting at the lads to stop it.

"Only then did I realise that they were smashing glass and that it was a raid."

Ms Timson said she saw someone on a scooter in her way revving the bike's engine but by then "was in full flight and I started whacking the lads over the head with my shopping bag".

On Friday five men charged in connection with the raid pleaded guilty to conspiracy to burgle at Northampton Crown Court, a court spokeswoman said.

The defendants from north London - Patrick O'Brien, 18, of Arlington Square, Islington; Terry Ingles, 22, of Arran Walk, Canonbury; Edward Smith, 28, of Staveley Close, Holloway; Jason Hartles, 25, of Peabody Square, Islington, and Michael Sharpe, 39, from Rowstock Gardens, Holloway - will all be sentenced at the same court on a date yet to be fixed.

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