‘IT WAS IN­STINCT’: Brave mum helped woman be­ing robbed

Woman slammed thief onto the bon­net of a car

Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - by Kather­ine Cle­men­tine kather­ine.cle­men­tine@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

A BRAVE mum-of-four came to the res­cue of an elderly woman in Yead­ing, af­ter a man stole her money in broad day­light.

Claire White, 31, was on her way to work with her part­ner, when all of a sud­den she heard a woman scream­ing out­side the Post Of­fice on Yead­ing Lane, near Hayes, on Tues­day af­ter­noon last week.

She said: “My part­ner went in the shop when all I heard was a lady scream­ing ‘some­body stop him, he’s got my money!’

“This black guy, aged in his 40s, was just ca­su­ally walk­ing back to­wards me and he had the money in his hand - so I jumped in front and said ‘stop, stop, give her her money back!’”

The brazen thief tried to tell Claire it was his money, but the elderly woman us­ing a Zim­mer frame was cry­ing and scream­ing for her money back, so the brave mum grabbed him to stop him in his tracks.

She con­tin­ued: “I’ve just held him there say­ing give her her money back.

“He pushed me re­ally hard, so I whacked him and he went to punch me, but my part­ner grabbed him and I grabbed him again and he gave me the money.

“It all hap­pened so quickly but we man­aged to get the money back for the old lady and the po­lice came.

“I had to slam him down on the bon­net of a car and I was just hold­ing his hands and scream­ing ‘give me the money’.

“He was strug­gling like mad for ages for a good three min­utes, then he even­tu­ally gave up and just said ‘take the money’.”

Claire later found out that the thief had picked on the elderly lady, de­spite the shop­ping area be­ing full of peo­ple and asked her if she had £1 spare.

The vic­tim kept her money in the bas­ket of her Zim­mer frame and leant down to kindly give a pound to the man, who then swiped £20.

Claire, who is not at all trained in self de­fence, said: “I think it was my nat­u­ral in­stincts just kick­ing in to make sure the lady got her money back.

“It was all so fast, it feels like a dream look­ing back on it all.

“It’s just in my na­ture to do things like that, if it was my nan I’d hope some­one would have done have done the same for her.

“It was only £20, but think­ing about it £20 to some­one that age is prob­a­bly quiet a lot of money re­ally.”

The mum-of-four was left bruised and shaken af­ter the or­deal.

Claire had to rush off to her job at a chil­dren’s amuse­ment cen­tre in Green­ford, but po­lice were called and ar­rived just as she was leav­ing.

She said: “They turned up about 30 sec­onds af­ter he went down the al­ley­way.

“I wish I’d kept hold of him but I’ve got bruises all up my arms from where I was hold­ing him.

“I gave the lady a big hug be­fore I left and said ‘my name’s Claire, here’s your money’ - she was so shaken up and cry­ing and kept say­ing ‘thank you’.

The in­ci­dent comes shortly af­ter a heroic Hilling­don cop chased down and ar­rested four bur­glars sin­gle-hand­edly in the bor­ough.

Look­ing back on the or­deal, the mum-of-four re­alised how shook-up she was.

Claire said: “No one did any­thing, that’s why I was scream­ing: ‘some­body stop him’.

“There were loads of men, older than me, just star­ing and no one did any­thing.

“It was 3.30pm in the day­time, there were school­child­ren stand­ing around. Maybe he thought be­cause it was prime time he’d get away with it be­cause it was so busy.

“I was re­ally shak­ing walk­ing to the bus stop, then when I was on the bus I was still shak­ing, but I’d calmed down a lit­tle bit as I was talk­ing to my friend about it on the phone – but when I got to work it just all hit me and I couldn’t be­lieve what had hap­pened.

“When I thought back about it all you think, he could have had a knife but that lady was scream­ing.

“At that time I just fo­cused on get­ting the money back as she’s more vul­ner­a­ble than me.”

Met­ro­pol­i­tan Po­lice con­firmed they are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the in­ci­dent as a theft, but no ar­rests have yet been made.

n BRAVE: Claire White came to the aid of an elderly woman when a rob­ber struck

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