herald

Saturday 23 September 2017

Plucky grandad hits van raider with stick

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, England, with a "substantial" sum of money.

The bravery of the 88-year-old Second World War veteran has been praised by police.

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 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."

Mr King said he jumped straight in and did not think twice about his own safety.

"Afterwards I did think to myself that they could've had a knife or a gun," he said. "But I would absolutely do it again."

Mr King enlisted with the Army in 1939 but was injured while testing anti-tank equipment and never saw action.

"I may be 88 but I am still fit and strong," Mr King said. "After all that effort I just hope the police catch them."

The veteran was left with a bump to his head that needed hospital treatment following his encounter with the thieves.

hnews@herald.ie

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