Pensioner beat off robber - with his walking stick

This post first appeared on Derby Telegraph. Read the original article.

A disgraced robber has been jailed for more than three years after he tried to force his way into a house - only to be fended off by a pensioner who struck him with his walking stick.

Matthew Birks rang the doorbell of a property in Glebe Field Close in Crich, in May this year and then hid near the doorway.

When the 85-year-old occupant answered the door, Birks emerged and tried to force his way in while holding a knife.

Robber Matthew Birks was seen off by an 85-year-old pensioner

But the victim fought back and hit him over the head twice with his walking stick, forcing 21-year-old Birks to flee empty-handed.

He was later arrested and charged after his fingerprints were found inside the property and traces of his DNA were harvested from the walking stick.

Birks, of Market Place, Crich, was charged with one count of attempted robbery and one of having a bladed article in public.

He admitted both at Derby Crown Court where he was jailed for three years and eight months.

Matthew Birks was sentenced to three years and eight months in prison at Derby Crown Court

DC David Oldfield, who led the investigation into the offence, said: “The victim was faced with a man more than 50 years his junior, who was holding a knife and trying to barge into his home in the dead of night.

“He showed inspirational bravery in tackling the offender in what must have been absolutely terrifying circumstances.

“Not only did he manage to quickly reach his walking stick, but he also struck Birks twice to the head and forced him to run off.

“We went to great lengths to identify the would-be robber and this case shows that we have the techniques and technology at our fingertips to find criminals and bring them to justice.

“Thanks to that endeavour, Birks now faces a lengthy spell behind bars.”