A BRAVE pensioner fought off burglars in his home after defending himself against a flurry of punches.
Eighty-two-year-old George Guthrie, from Amble, was asleep in a chair when he woke to find two black-clad intruders in his living room, with one just inches from him, in the early hours of Monday morning.
But George, of Percy Street, grabbed one of the crooks and, amid a barrage of blows, he thwarted the pair, who gave up and left empty-handed.
And courageous George, who has trouble walking, has branded his night-time prowlers who targeted the house he has lived in all his life as ‘cowards’.
Describing his ordeal, George said: “It may have lasted seconds, but to me it was like minutes. There was a lot going through my head at the time.
“I had nodded off to sleep. A torch was shone in my eyes. The brightness of the light woke me up and I saw a silhouette close to me. I said ‘what the hell are you doing?’
“I was in shock for a millisecond but then I came to my senses quickly. I grabbed him and that is when he punched me.
“I put my arms up to protect myself. He was spraying away at me. He was trying to punch me, his arms were flying everywhere, but there was no strength in them. It was like a bairn was hitting me.
“I tried to pull the mask or whatever it was off his face. I was trying to hit him once or twice. The other bloke helped him because I was getting the better of him. I think the second guy did hit me.”
But after a struggle, the intruders gave up and left through the back of the house, but not before damaging a table, which, according to George, was done in ‘frustration’.
George finished up on the floor, among a sea of debris including medicine boxes which had been scattered across the living room during the scuffle.
Another table was also damaged, as were his glasses.
He went to the front and the back of the house to try to spot the pair but could not see anything and called the police.
“I phoned 999. I was getting short of breath and the pain in my chest was terrible,” he said.
He was taken to hospital to be checked over and, while he is now back at home, the attack has left him with bruising to his arms and head, which was also cut.
“There are one or two bits on my body where I can feel where I was hit,” he added.
George described the duo as about 5ft 8in tall and of slim build.
“They were all in black and they never said a word. I think they were after money,” he said.
But George has insisted the ordeal has not affected him.
“They think they have scared me – they are mistaken. I am not one for scaring. I will get them next time. If I got a hold of them, I would kill them.
“They are not animals, because animals are better natured than they are. They are cowards.”
Police have made an appeal for information about the incident.
Det Sgt Pete Jeffrey said: “It is not something that happens a lot in Amble and it is pretty much a one-off. But it is something that is very frightening for an 82-year-old man to find intruders in the middle of the night in his own home.”
Alnwick Neighbourhood Police Inspector Sue Peart added: “Amble is a really close community.
“There is definitely a number of people who will have information about this or may even have the identification of the offenders.
“I ask them to look to their conscience.
“If the offenders can attack an 82-year-old and get away with it, then who is going to be next?”
Three people have been arrested on suspicion of burglary and are helping police with their inquiries.
If anyone has any information, they should call police on 03456 043043.