Published: 00:01, 18 March 2018
A defiant pensioner who was viciously beaten for trying to stop a burglary says he would intervene again if given the chance.
The 72-year-old was cutting his grass in Lower Street, Leeds when he heard three intruders banging on the backdoor of a neighbour’s home.
He went to investigate and shouted "Oi" at the three raiders, who hastily fled the scene.
While they were gone, he took a picture of a nearby blue Peugeot he did not recognise and dialled 999.
But while making the call one of the would-be burglars approached him.
The grandfather said: “He asked me ‘are you a policeman’, I said ‘no but I am talking to the police’.
“Then he hit me on the side of the head, he took my phone away and hit me twice more.
“My head was pouring with blood. It took weeks to heal.”
The attacker was David Hilden, then 17, who then threatened “You finger me and I’ll split your head open”.
Hilden, 19, of Stockett Lane, East Farleigh, drove off with his cronies, narrowly avoiding his victim who was left lying on the floor.
The teenager, who was in breach of suspended sentence at the time, was sentenced to 21 months youth custody at Maidstone Crown Court, having admitted to actual bodily harm and to burgling homes in Church hill, Boughton Monchelsea and Vanity Lane, Linton.
Joe Page, 20, of Pembroke Road in Coxheath admitted taking part in the same burglaries and was sentenced to 15 months youth custody.
The third man, Billy Draper, 22, of Westmoreland Green, Shepway, was jailed for two years and five months after pleading guilty to attempted burglary and separate offences of stealing numbers plates from a car in Otham, stealing £3,065 of tools from a van and not paying for fuel in Sutton Valence.
Hilden’s victim said after learning of the sentence: “I had imagined they would get around three or four years each, but at least they are behind bars.
“If I could go back I would still intervene, but perhaps change how I did it.
“I’d really like to thank the police for catching all three of them and the paramedics who treated me and rushed me to hospital.”
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