April 21, 2011

UK: Disabled woman headbutts attacker as "My 24 grandchildren would have expected me to do that!"

SALISBURY, England / Salisbury Journal / National News / April 21, 2011
A disabled grandmother in a mobility scooter
headbutted a mugger when three youths ambushed her
© Press Association 2011

A disabled grandmother who headbutted a teenage would-be mugger said that she did it because it was what her grandchildren would expect of her.

The 49-year-old, who is just five feet tall and registered disabled, was ambushed by three youths in hooded tops as she drove her mobility scooter along a road in Barnstaple, Devon, but fought back, causing them to flee empty-handed.

The mother of six, who does not want to be identified, said that her 24 grandchildren would have expected her to be strong and not let the criminals have their own way.

She said she had also been inspired by the memory of her dead brother.

"They were not expecting me to fight back," she said.

"I am a very strong person because of what I have gone through in my life. As they attacked me, I heard my grandchildren saying to me in my head 'Nan, get up and fight them'.

"When I headbutted the robber I think I broke his nose, it was that strong. Once they saw me attack him his mates scarpered and so did he."

The attack happened at around 7.30pm on March 25 in the Whiddon Valley area of the town as the grandmother returned home from the fish and chip shop. The three young attackers appeared from woodland next to the path on Westacott Road and tried to steal her handbag until she started fighting back.

The fight did not go all her way, as she was tipped from her scooter and kicked, needing hospital treatment for face and stomach injuries which exacerbated a previous medical condition.

Her scooter was damaged beyond repair and she spent all her savings on a new one. She said she had been left afraid to go to the street where she was attacked after dark.

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