ERIC Pearson may be 84 and suffering from arthritis, but when it comes to defending his home he can put up a fight.
A pair of thieves discovered this the hard way when they targeted his bungalow in Sheepridge, just after 5pm on Thursday.
As they escaped Mr Pearson battered one of the burglars over the head with his walking stick.
He said: “I wasn’t afraid at all. I was just the opposite. I went for him with my stick but he got past me.
“I didn’t have much chance to do any damage. I think because he had come into my house like that my blood was boiling and I wanted to fight back.”
Mr Pearson, who walks with two sticks, was in his study working on the computer when he heard his wife Doreen chatting to someone in the front room.
He went to investigate and found Mrs Pearson, 78, talking with a man who claimed to be from the water board.
The man was in his 30s, 5ft 6in tall and slim, with short, dark hair. He was clean-shaven and smartly dressed in a dark suit jacket, dark trousers and white shirt.
The bogus official, who spoke with an Irish accent, said he needed to turn the water off at the Pearsons’ home because there was a problem with the water at the house next door.
He also spoke about needing to repair problems with the drainage.
Mr Pearson said: “I was a bit suspicious then. Also he looked too smart to be a workman. So I asked to see his ID card and he started to make all sorts of excuses. So I gave the phone to my wife and told her to call the police.”
The man called out and his accomplice, who had sneaked into the house, ran out of the couple’s bedroom.
Mr Pearson was not about to let him get away lightly and attacked him with his walking stick.
He said: “I am disabled and I had sticks in my hand, so I hit him across the back of the head. But he got out of the door.”
The second man was in his early 40s, 5ft 10in tall and weighed about 14 stone. He had light, thinning hair and a fat, ‘bullish’ face. He also wore gloves.
He had raided Mrs Pearson’s jewellery box in the bedroom and took a gold chain, silver bracelet, silver chain and a gold watch, which was an anniversary present from Mr Pearson.
Mr Pearson said: “The watch was particularly special, but all the items had sentimental value. As we go round the house we keep finding something else missing.
“The police were very good; they got here within five minutes.’’
Although Mr Pearson is more angry than afraid, he says the burglary has upset his wife of 58 years.
He said: “She is down in the dumps. We were supposed to be going to Skirlington, near Hornsea, in a couple of weeks, but she’s having second thoughts about everything now.”
Mrs Pearson said: “It was not a very nice experience.”
Anyone with information about the incident should contact Huddersfield CID on 01484 436685.