Plucky Deeside pensioner fights off intruder


Jamie Nield-Siddall

A TERRIFIED 90-year-old woman fought off a “despicable” would-be-burglar on her doorstep.

Widow Mona Groom described the horrifying ordeal as men posing as council workers, tried to force their way into her Deeside home after knocking on her door on Monday morning.

As the men grappled with the frail pensioner one made his way into the house on Welsh Road, Garden City, and ran up the stairs.

But plucky Mrs Groom pushed a second man back, blocking his path as she screamed at the second man to get out of the house.

At one stage the man had hold of Mrs Groom’s blouse, but she refused to take a backward step.

Eventually the two men, who were posing as Flintshire Council grass cutting staff, ran off, and fled the scene in a vehicle along with a third man, who was waiting outside.

Mrs Groom’s ordeal follows repeated warnings from Flintshire Council Trading Standards about unscrupulous cold callers targeting homes in Flintshire.
Police, who described it as a “despicable crime” targeted at the most vulnerable people in society, are now appealing for help in catching the perpetrators.

Mrs Groom, who has lived at her address for 50 years, said the ordeal had left her “shaken”.

“I was so shocked,” she said.

“I was really lucky I had the strength to fight him off.

“One of them went upstairs and I was shouting him to get out.

“He must have gone straight for the mattress because it had been pushed out.

“I never lost anything – I was lucky.”

Mrs Groom said she was on her garden path when she was approached by the men.

Moments before they called at her neighbour’s house.

“They had been next door first saying they had come to do their garden,” she said.

“It’s awful.

“One of them asked me to go and get some water from the kitchen, then he was trying to push me into the house.

“I didn’t move from the doorstep.

“I was shouting at the other man “what are you doing up there”.

“They were in working clothes but they had no tools.

“It dawned on me that they weren’t from the council.”

She said the men ran off and drove away in a grey car.

“It was a terrible ordeal,” she added.

“I haven’t slept and on Monday night I had to bolt my bedroom door.”

Insp Ceri Hawe, of North Wales Police, said: “This is a despicable crime targeting the most vulnerable people in our communities.

“I am asking residents to be vigilant ensuring they keep doors locked and to refuse cold callers.”

The police are also strongly urging the neighbours of vulnerable residents to look out for them and to report suspicious behaviour.

Anybody with information about the men who targeted Mrs Groom should call police on 101, quoting RC14094765.

A Flintshire Council spokesman said: “The council is appalled and saddened by news of this attempted burglary.

“Every employee from the council carries an ID badge and will show these at all times when calling at any property.”

See full story in the Leader

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