Have-a-go pensioner 'whacks' raider
Published 27/01/2012 | 16:13
A fearless pensioner who fought off a pair of robbers said "instinct" kicked in when he witnessed them attacking the driver of a security van.
Gordon King, a former policeman, used his aluminium walking stick to "whack" one of the thieves before he and an accomplice fled the scene in Bath, north Somerset, with a "substantial" sum of money.
The bravery of the 88-year-old Second World War veteran has been praised by police, who are appealing for further witnesses to come forward.
Without thought for his own safety, the great-grandfather confronted the raiders who were attacking a security van driver outside the Lloyds TSB bank in Moorland Road, Bath, on Wednesday.
Mr King, who worked as a police officer for 29 years, said: "I was coming to cross the road and the security van pulled up by the bank. My first thought was that it wasn't very good security only having one man. Then something made me look again and I realised what was happening.
"I got my stick and gave him a whack. Then I gave him a few more whacks and broke my stick over his head. It was instinct. I thought 'you don't see people in balaclavas unless something is wrong'."
Detective Chief Inspector David Gill, who is leading the investigation, praised Mr King for his public-spirited actions.
He said: "Mr King should be highly commended for what he did. I think both his family and the citizens of Bath would be amazed at what has gone on.
"He certainly acted on instinct with no fear for his own safety and took steps to stop that crime taking place. Unfortunately, on this occasion, the two people got away. But it is great that Mr King is still in one piece and as lively as he is."
Anyone able to help is asked to contact Avon and Somerset Constabulary at Bath on 101.