84-year-old veteran wrestles burglar

A WORLD War Two veteran has told how he wrestled an intruder who stole £2,500 of his savings during a burglary at his home.George Barker, 84, went to investigate after hearing a noise in the bedroom of his bungalow in Gainsborough Close, Clacton.

By Annie Davidson

A WORLD War Two veteran has told how he wrestled an intruder who stole £2,500 of his savings during a burglary at his home.

George Barker, 84, went to investigate after hearing a noise in the bedroom of his bungalow in Gainsborough Close, Clacton.

The pensioner came face-to-face with a teenage boy, who had searched through a bedside table and stolen three wallets containing the money.


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Mr Barker, who lives with his wife Stella, said: “Instead of thumping him, I got my arm around his neck and we fell onto the bed.

“I am 84 and he was a bit too strong for me. He wriggled free and ran off up the garden and over our fence - he took half the fence down with him.”

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Mr Barker, who worked for Ford before his retirement, said he heard the burglar talking to some other youths as he walked away.

It was only after the confrontation that he realised the money had been stolen. He and his wife had saved the cash over a number of years.

Mr Barker said: “I would like to have taken his head off. I was trying to restrain him and then to call the police but I have been angry with myself ever since for not thumping him.

“It would have slowed him down and he wouldn't have got up the garden quite so quickly.

“He was petrified and kept making unintelligible noises.”

Mr Barker dismissed any notion of his actions being heroic, saying: “My castle had been invaded so it was an instinctive thing.

“I did not stop to think about the whys and wherefores. The trouble is I should have gone in with my fists.

“I said some unprintable things to him. I told him his mother and father were never married.”

Police were quickly on scene following the incident at 8.50pm on Friday and brought in the force helicopter to try and trace the burglar but were unsuccessful.

Mr Barker was checked over by an ambulance crew but was not injured.

It is thought the youth entered the bungalow through a door which had been left open as Mr and Mrs Barker watched television.

The couple have lived in Clacton for 18 years after moving to the town from Loughton in south Essex.

“I was born in Buckhurst Hill and moved to Woodford and then Loughton and in all those years I was never burgled. I had to come to Clacton for that,” said Mr Barker, who served with the Royal Engineers during World War Two.

The burglar went over the back fence at the property into Woodrows Lane, which connects with St Johns Road.

Police are keen to hear from anyone who may have seen the youth alone or with a group of teenagers in the area.

The offender is described as aged about 16, white, 5ft 8ins tall, of skinny build and wearing a dark blue baseball cap and a green or blue top.

Anyone with information should contact Pc Stuart Knight at Clacton CID on 01255 221312.

annie.davidson@eadt.co.uk

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