Supergran foils robbers

Source: You Tube (95hixxy95) Key words: Ann Timson handbag robbery

Handbag-wielding grandmother first interview: 'somebody had to do something'

A grandmother who (a) beat off a gang of six jeweller's shop robbers with her handbag has (b) given her first interview, saying she (1) risked her life because "somebody had to do something".

The woman, who did not want to be (2) named, was (3) captured on video beating away the men, who were wearing crash helmets and carrying sledgehammers, as they (4) tried to rob the Northampton store.

She (c) said: "I was standing talking with a woman when I (d) heard a commotion and I (5) looked across and (e) saw six young men on scooters.

"At first I (f) thought one of them was being (g) set upon by three others. What (6) concerned me was that too many people just (h) stood around watching as if they were in shock and nobody was doing anything."

She (i) told the Northampton Chronicle and Echo: "When I (j) got closer to them I (7) realised it was a robbery and then I was even more angry that they (k) felt they (l) could get away with what they were doing in broad daylight.

"One of the gang (m) shot off ... On a scooter and nearly (n) hit a woman and baby in her buggy. I (8) clobbered him with my shopping but he got away."

She (9) added: "Several people then (o) came to help. It was over in what (10) seemed like seconds.

"I am not a hero and it was maybe foolish of me to get (11) involved but somebody had to do something. Now I just want to be (p) left in peace."

The men (12) arrived on a motorbike and two motor scooters shortly before 9.30am yesterday.

The scene was clearly captured on video by a passer-by.

The three men who were riding pillion (13) dismounted and immediately (q) began swinging their heavy hammers at the glass of the jeweller's door and plate glass windows, while the riders (r) kept the engines running.

Some of the glass gave way as staff inside (14) panicked and the gang (15) started to fill small holdalls with strings of jewels.

Most people on the street were content to watch the assault but one woman (s) ran at the men apparently (16) unhindered by her large bright red coat and thick scarf.

She (17) plunged into the gang, swinging her handbag with two hands, and (t) sent the men running for their transport as the staff at Michael Jones Jewellers in Northampton town centre (18) managed to bring down security shutters.

Two of the men were so (19) unsettled by the unlikely crime fighter that they (20) overturned their scooter as they (21) attempted to flee.

Onlookers (22) encouraged by the woman's bravery then came to her aid and one of the men was (23)pinned to the ground before police arrived.

Four men aged 18, 22, 25 and 39 were subsequently (24) arrested and police are seeking two of the men.

A spokesman for Northamptonshire Police (25) appealed for witnesses and said: "Both were wearing crash helmets after arriving at the scene on a motorbike.

"The six offenders arrived at the shop on three motorbikes and (26) attempted to smash the windows of the shop with sledgehammers.

"The offenders were (27) disturbed by members of the public and (u) fled the area without taking anything. One of the offenders was (28) detained by members of the public.

"The other three men were arrested by police a short time later."

"No one was (29) injured."

The incident (v) took place on the corner of Gold Street and Bridge Street in the town.

Source: Telegraph

Do you think the old lady should have intervened?

Would you have done the same thing if you had been there?

Have you ever witnessed a theft or a robbery? What happened? What did you do?

The text is full of verbs in the past tense - regular and irregular.

There are 28 different regular verbs but what is the correct -ed pronunciation?

Put them into the correct grouping:

/d/ arrive, ....

/t/ look, ....

/Id/ arrest, ....

Check this previous post on -ed endings.

The lettered verbs are irregular. Write the verb, its past and its participle (if different from the past).

hear, heard

give, gave, given


There are links on the left hand side of the blog to help you with your pronunciation. Use them!

Look at howjsay . You can listen to ten words together, separating them with a ; (but no spaces between words)

eg arrive;arrived;look;looked;arrest;arrested

eg hear;heard;give;gave;given

Try it with the Past tense verbs from the exercises above.

You could also check the phonemic spelling in a dictionary and spell the word and listen to the individual sounds in the Phonemic Chart (BBC/British Council)

English File also has a Phonemic Chart with pictures and sounds.

Remember to use the labels (on the left hand side of the blog and at the end of each post). Check previous posts on pronunciation.

Here is an update on the story:

'Have-a-go heroes' warned against copying pensioner

"Have-a-go heroes" have been warned not to copy the example of a pensioner who tackled a gang of hammer-wielding robbers.

Ann Timson, 71, hit the gang of six with her handbag and forced them to give up their raid on a jewellery shop in Northampton.

She said: "I just kept swinging my bag, then they tried to escape. I landed several blows against one lad."

Northamptonshire Police advised people not to risk their safety but call 999.

Detective Inspector Ally White said: "We would like to thank all of the members of the public who assisted in the incident.

"However, we would always advise the public to call the police if they witness a crime, rather than risking their own safety by getting involved themselves."

Mrs Timson, a retired market trader, told The Sun newspaper: "My mother's instinct kicked in and I ran across the road shouting at the lads to stop it.

"Only then did I realise that they were smashing glass and that it was a raid."

In January 2010 the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson, said people who put themselves in danger to tackle criminals should be celebrated as heroes.

He said such people "make our society worthwhile".

Earlier that month a 31-year-old builder, Sukhwinder Singh, was stabbed to death after he chased two men who had mugged a woman in Barking, east London.

His murder remains unsolved despite police offering a £20,000 reward last month.

A Victim Support spokesperson said: "It's not possible to tell people how to react in situations where others may be at risk, because they will inevitably follow their instincts.

"What the woman did was brave, but people also need to remember their own personal safety."

The Association of Chief Police Officers said they would defer to local forces for advice on "have-a-go heroes".

The Home Office, Ministry of Justice and Police Federation said they did not wish to comment on the case.

Four men from London, aged between 18 and 39, have been charged with robbery and vehicle offences and are appearing at Northampton Magistrates' Court.


Montse said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Graham said…

I've added an extra article warning about intervening in situations.

I think that when we do things like that it’s because we don’t THINK ABOUT IT. I’ve never been WITNESS TO a similar situation...

It's outrageous that also in the UK there are strict health and safety laws, which have been used by emergency workers as an excuse for not intervening in life threatening situations.

You put all the -ed verbs under the correct symbol, just watch the spelling of "injure".

I think the most important things is not to consistently use /Id/ vowel sound with all verbs, only with /d/ and /t/.