Have-a-go-hero pensioner, 77, caught shoplifting thug… by battering him with her HANDBAG

March 1, 2013 | by | 0 Comments

A have-a-go-hero pensioner dubbed ‘supergran’ caught a shoplifter thug – by battering him with her handbag.

Margaret Leese, 77, leapt into action after spotting thief Andrew Reece, 26, fleeing a shop with four bottles of booze.

Seconds after leaving the Co-op shop in Bucknall, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs., Margaret whacked Reece with her handbag.

Margaret Leese with her handbag at the Co-op store, in Bucknall, Staffs., where she helped to catch a shoplifting thug

Margaret Leese with her handbag at the Co-op store, in Bucknall, Staffs., where she helped to catch a shoplifting thug

Shockingly, Reece barged Margaret over but was arrested by officers who were nearby when he fell over the sprawling pensioner after the theft on February 13.

Yesterday Margaret, who suffered a fractured left wrist and ligament damage in the incident, was hailed a hero by police after Reece was jailed for 20 weeks for assault and theft.

Speaking from her home in Abbey Hulton, Staffs., Margaret, who cares full-time for her terminally ill husband Stan, 80, said: “I knew he was a bad one who needed to be stopped.

“I didn’t really think about anything else other than stopping him. He looked quite surprised when I clobbered him with my bag.

“I’m not awfully big but I could see he was running away so did what I could. I just swung my bag and it hit him as he ran into me.

“Me and Stan normally get a taxi together everywhere we go, but there was snow on the ground so I told Stan to stay in and I would catch the bus to the doctors.

“On the way back, I was a bit early so decided to nip for a loaf.

“When I got to the shop I saw two police officers who looked like they were waiting for someone.

“Then I saw a young man coming towards me and I knew instantly it was him they wanted.

“He pushed me and I went flat on my back. He gave me quite a bash. He tried to get away but he tripped over me and fell on his face.

“I was black and blue. I had to have my arm put in a cast, it is still painful now.

“He was stronger than I thought he was going to be and I am just lucky I was wearing my duffel coat so I didn’t hurt my head. I don’t know why I did it, it was just instinct.

“Everyone has been really supportive. The police have been wonderful.”

Reece was arrested at the scene and jailed at North Staffordshire Justice Centre earlier this week.

Staffordshire Police yesterday praised Mrs Leese for her actions.

Chief Superintendent Bernie O’Reilly, left, said: “Mrs Leese is a wonder woman. She was brave and courageous and I really can’t thank her enough for helping my officers arrest this lad.

“She helped to grab hold of him and we are really grateful for that. Her actions are humbling and inspiring.”

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