Ann Timson went into action when
she saw a gang attacking a jewellery shop. The 70 year-old, who has previously
tackled drug addicts and prostitutes on her local housing estate, said she
stepped in because other bystanders “did nothing”.
She said: “I was standing talking
with a woman when I heard a commotion and I looked across and saw six young men
“At first I thought one of them was
being set upon by three others. I was not going to stand by and watch somebody
take a beating or worse so I tried to intervene.
What concerned me was that too many people
just stood around watching as if they were in shock and nobody was doing anything.
“When I got closer to them I
realised it was a robbery and then I was even more angry that they felt they
could get away with what they were doing in broad daylight.”
One of the men nearly hit a woman’s
baby in her buggy as he tried to escape.
Mrs Timson said: “I clobbered him
with my shopping but he got away. The rest of them were still trying to smash
and grab at the jewellery.
“I didn’t know what happened next
but I just kept swinging my bag.
I landed several blows against one lad on the
back of a bike and brought him to the ground. He raised a hammer to me so I
just kept hitting out and shouting and shouting for others to help and bring
Other people finally came to her
aid and helped to pin a man down.
Police said the robbers fled
empty-handed. Four of the suspects were
later arrested and charged.
Neighbours said she had been at the
“heart of the community” for more than 20 years and regularly checked on
vulnerable and disabled residents on the estate where she is a warden.
She had been instrumental in
cleaning up a “no-go zone” which was known as the Jungle, helping to rid the
area of up to 200 prostitutes and dozens of drug dealers.