A 90-year-old former boxer followed a burglar out of his house and tracked him down in a nearby ASDA before smashing him in the face and taking his wallet back.
The pensioner, who wishes to remain anonymous, was in his house in Hull when Nicholas Norton, 49, came to his door pretending to have injured his leg on September 3.
When the elderly man went to get a cloth to clean the stranger’s ‘wound’, Norton grabbed his wallet and ran out of the house.
The retiree, once a middleweight boxing champion in the Navy reserves, dashed out of the house and followed Norton in his car to a nearby ASDA on Beverley Road.
Heading inside, the brave pensioner grabbed hold of the thief at the checkout and punched him in the face before taking his wallet back.
Norton, who had convictions for 80 previous offences including 44 for theft, has now been sentenced at Hull Crown Court to three-and-a-half years in prison after admitting burglary and fraud by using one of the pensioner’s bank cards.
Speaking of the ordeal, the 90-year-old man said: ‘When he stole my wallet, I just wanted to get it back. I know that pensioners are being robbed all the time and it’s not right.
‘I have problems with my blood pressure, my legs and my hands but I still went after him to get my wallet back.’
Nicholas Norton pretended to have injured his leg to rob the 90 year-old pensioner
Norton had already bought a 44p bar of chocolate using the pensioner’s card. When he was arrested following the incident, he told police: ‘I’m going back to prison. That’s five years for me.’ He made full admissions during police interview.
The pensioner said: ‘After he’d run out with my wallet, I got into my car and went to go look for him. I had a drive down the nearby streets, before going into the ASDA car park to turn around – that’s when I saw him walking into the supermarket.
‘I followed him in and said to the security guard ‘I’ve just had my wallet stolen and I’ve come to get it back’.
‘I found him at the till with a bottle of whisky and I grabbed him by the scruff of the neck and smacked him on the chin.
‘I asked him where my wallet was and he said he didn’t have it, so I said to him, ‘do you want me to hit you again? Then he quickly emptied his pockets and gave me it.
‘I noticed my cards weren’t in there, so I said, ‘where are they?’ and he said that he’d hidden them outside, so I smacked him again. Then he turned out his pockets and gave me my cards back.
‘I used to be a middleweight boxing champion in the Navy reserve, so I know how to punch. I keep myself fit for a 90 year old because I fell out of a car a while ago and I have to do the exercises to stay strong.
‘My daughter called me a ‘silly bugger’ and said, ‘you’re too old to be doing stuff like that’.
The elderly gentleman chased Norton to this ASDA where he confronted him and punched him in the face before taking his wallet back
‘I’m not sure why I did it, it was just instinctive – it’s the principle of the thing. Hopefully now he’ll think twice before he robs another pensioner.’
Rachel Scott, prosecuting, told Hull Crown Court on Tuesday that Norton had walked into the pensioners back garden limping and said that he had fallen off his bicycle.
She said: ‘He asked for a damp cloth because his leg was bleeding.
‘The complainant went and got him a cloth and, as he was standing at a sink, turned round and saw the defendant in his living room. The defendant took his wallet and ran out of the address.
‘The complainant got into his car and drove around trying to find the defendant. He saw the defendant going into Asda so he went in after him. He caught the defendant with his bank card in his hand and a bottle of spirits in the other.
‘He took hold of him and the defendant dropped the bottle, smashing it. The complainant was concerned about what he would do with the bottle so punched him on the chin.
‘He then held the defendant by the scruff of his neck while the defendant emptied his pockets and returned the bank cards.’
Burglar Nicholas Norton had convictions for 80 previous offences, including 44 for theft. He was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison.