Page last updated at 11:16 GMT, Wednesday, 15 April 2009 12:16 UK

Widow traps intruder with crutch

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Pensioner Gwyneth Davies said she told the intruder 'don't you dare move'

An 86-year-old who found an intruder in her kitchen whacked him with her crutch and held him until police arrived.

Widow Gwyneth Davies, from Treharris, near Merthyr Tydfil, struck the man four times with the metal walking stick she uses after having a fractured hip.

The former munitions worker said: "He was left bent over the work surface with his face buried in his hands - he didn't know what had hit him."

A 26-year-old man has been remanded in custody, charged with burglary.

Mrs Davies told of how she struck out when she found a man in her kitchen at her terraced home.

She said: "He was right in front of me and he must have thought I would be no match for him.

"But I had my metal crutch with me and it turned into a very useful weapon.

"I lashed out at him with it and as he turned away from me I whacked him four times across the back.

I was brought up with six brothers and put on the boxing gloves to spar with them
Gwyneth Davies takes the gloves off

"He was stunned and pretending to cry - it was better than going to the pictures.

"He was whimpering and I told him to sit on the kitchen stool and not to move."

Mrs Davies, who has recently recovered from broken ribs, a fractured hip and double pneumonia, dialled 999 and said: "I've just caught a burglar."

"When the police arrived they couldn't believe what I'd done. They were all asking me if I was all right - I told them: 'You're asking the wrong one!'."

'Straight-talking'

Mrs Davies, who was widowed 20 years ago, worked at London's Woolwich arsenal during World War II, handling landmines, fuses and detonators.

After the war she transferred to a munitions factory in Bridgend, before becoming a care assistant in a residential home.

But she said an upbringing with six brothers gave her the strength and courage to tackle the intruder.

She said: "I'm not frightened of anything really - I always been able to take care of myself.

"I was brought up with six brothers and put on the boxing gloves to spar with them. And I played darts and football."

Her niece Cherie Jenkins, 54, said she had not been fazed by what happened.

"My aunt is a remarkable woman - she's straight-talking, too straight-talking for her own good sometimes," she said.



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