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Have-a-go pensioners fight thieves

PUBLISHED: 20:12 23 August 2002 | UPDATED: 12:31 03 March 2010

MY hero!

Three burglars got more than they bargained for when a 74-year-old pensioner fought back to protect his 75-year-old girlfriend.

Spurred on by love, George Francis - five foot four - fought off three burglars who forced their way into his Ipswich home.

burglars got more than they bargained for when a 74-year-old pensioner fought back to protect his 75-year-old girlfriend.

Spurred on by love, George Francis – all 5ft 4in of him – fought off three burglars who forced their way into his Ipswich home.

Today, recovering from being punched in the face, Mr Francis said: "I prayed to God for strength to fight them. I don't know how I did it bit I don't think they'll be coming back here any time soon.

"He was much bigger than me and very broad, but I managed to put my hands round his neck trying to push him out of the door.

"After that I ran to a neighbour's to get help."

As well as punching Mr Francis and his brother, 71-year-old Percy, in the face, the attackers threatened Mr Francis's friend Olive Lambert.

But the former railway worker's efforts were not enough to prevent the men ransacking his Tyler Road home and making off with £700.

George said: "One stood guard over Percy and another was guarding Olive while the other went upstairs to rummage around. That's when I grabbed one of them."

Determined Mr Francis leapt to fame last year when he passed his driving test, then aged 73, after eight tests – and again when Ipswich magistrates handed him a 12-month ban for drink-driving.

Today, after his latest escapade, he said: "I am still shaking. I can't believe that the crooks can beat me up but I can't beat up the crooks."

Mr Francis opened the door to a white man in his twenties asking for a pen and paper to leave a note for his neighbour.

The man left, but returned minutes later with two others.

All three then pushed their way into the house at 2.55pm on Monday.

Police want to speak to anyone who may have see the three men, all white, dark-haired and in their early twenties, hanging around the junction of Wherstead Road and Vernon Street.

Anyone with information should call Det Con Dave Dulake at the Distraction Burglary Unit on 613881.

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