Peer nabs 'Parliament pickpocket'
Published 05/11/2010 | 11:20
A Labour Peer has told how she nabbed a suspected pickpocket after being targeted outside the Houses of Parliament.
Baroness Glenys Thornton, 58, fought off the alleged thief as he reached into her handbag and tried to grab her purse.
The former Government whip then followed the homeless man, who at one point turned and stared at her, before she alerted a passing police officer.
Speaking about the incident, Baroness Thornton said she was determined not to let him get away amid a crowd of tourists outside the London landmark.
She said: "I thought: 'I could either let this go or do something about him.' So I walked after him, nearly catching up with him and at one point he turned round and looked at me, which I thought was strange and made me convinced he'd tried to do it.
"I was going to get to the St Stephen's entrance and find the police, but there was a policewoman on the pavement and I told her this man had tried to take my bag, or something out of my bag, and she was able to apprehend him."
The alleged attempted theft took place at noon on Wednesday as Baroness Thornton travelled to Westminster from her north London home.
Two passers-by saw the incident and offered to give witness statements to police.
Baroness Thornton said: "I was just walking to my office after getting off the bus. I had a big bag - one of those that has everything in it - over my left arm.
"This man cut into me from the right and put his hand on my bag so it clearly wasn't an accident. He was in his 20s, about my height."