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Leysdown pensioner who fought off robber given a bravery award and merit from Kent Police

By Emma Grove

A feisty pensioner who took on a robber after he violently attacked her was the star at a police awards bash.

Rose Overland hit the headlines earlier this year after it was revealed she had tackled intruder John Lusher when he broke into her home in Park Avenue, Leysdown.

She was subjected to a frightening ordeal where the crook pushed her onto the sofa, kicked her terrified dog across the room, dragged her through to the bedroom by her arm, threw a drawer at her which cracked her ribs and smacked her round the face in September last year.

Rose Overland and her grandson Gary Yearley are presented with their bravery awards and merits by the Chief Constable of Kent Alan Pughsley and the High Sheriff of Kent Hugo Fenwick

He also ripped her earrings from her ears, pulled the rings from her fingers and snapped a chain she was wearing round her neck.

But the 85-year-old took him on and gave as good as she got – demanding to know what he was doing in her house.

She was rescued when her husband Derek and two grandsons Gary and Mark Yearley returned home and were able to hold onto Lusher, who was jailed for eight years, until police arrived.

Now the great grandmother-of-one has been given a bravery award and merit from Kent Police and her grandchildren have also been given merits for their actions.

A ceremony was held at the force’s Maidstone headquarters last Tuesday which Mrs Overland, Gary and their family attended.

Mark was unable to be there but his award was collected by his proud relatives.

Mrs Overland said it was a beautiful event and she felt very choked up by it.

She said: “I feel very proud, I was so overwhelmed. I’m frightened to be left on my own now, but I will get over it.

“I have got a wonderful family and friends and they have helped me through it.”

Rose Overland and her husband Derek share a kiss after the 85-year-old was presented with her award and merit for bravery

She was also presented with a cheque for £200 which she says she plans to put towards the holiday she missed out on last year.

Mrs Overland’s son David said: “There were a lot of awards given out for police officers for long standing service and merit, but mum and Gary seemed to be the stars of the night and ‘Why not?’ I say.

“She had people coming up and congratulating her – I’m so happy something good came out of something bad.

“I am thankful each day that mum and dad are OK as it could have been so much worse for all of us as a family.

“She really is a strong woman to have pulled through something like this – she must have grown strong looking after dad the 64 years they have been married.”

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