£500 reward for woman who foiled hold-up
A COURAGEOUS Mirfield grandmother who foiled two gun-toting street robbers is to get a £500 reward.
Ordering the payout to the 63-year-old Hopton woman at Bradford Crown Court yesterday, Judge James Stewart praised her "incredible courage" during the terrifying incident in Mirfield on January 10 when she was confronted by a masked assailant.
Richard Myatt, 25, of Northway, Mirfield, and Owen Hanratty, also 25, of no fixed address, were both jailed for eight years after pleading guilty to attempted robbery and possessing an imitation handgun.
The court heard how the pair had planned to rob a Newgate garage, but then switched their attentions to an apparently defenceless pensioner.
The woman was walking along Newgate to go shopping in Mirfield at about 10.15am when their white Nissan Micra started trailing her.
"I suppose alarm bells should have started ringing, but didn't, as they started driving slowly down the road towards me," she said yesterday.
The car stopped a couple of feet from her and Myatt, wearing a mask, demanded her bag.
"I looked at the passenger in the car and thought: `God, he's wearing a balaclava'.
"A split second later I looked down and there's a gun pointing at me.
"I just felt blind, blind fury they thought they had more right to my possessions than I had."
Rather than meekly handing over her belongings, she dashed into a nearby shop and raised the alarm.
As she fled, she memorised the car number plate.
Alerting the police, she then headed back into Mirfield to make a hair appointment.
Thanks to her quick thinking, armed police soon traced the two culprits sitting in the Micra with the balaclava and gun, which turned out to fire ball bearings.
The court heard both were heroin users and needed money to feed their habit.
The woman said she was satisfied with the sentence both men received.
"I think they got their just desserts. I think people are fed up of thugs ruling the roost. I have not worked all my life to hand things over to two yobs. It could have been the worst decision I ever made in my life, but as it happened it wasn't."
Her proud 59-year-old husband echoed his support: "I think she did the right thing in the circumstances."