Pensioner tells of 'terrible ordeal' with 'lunatic' mugger

Picture from stock

Picture from stock

First published in News Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

A Garston pensioner mugged by a "lunatic" at St Albans market is still shaking from his terrible ordeal.

Bernard Hamilton, 78, was targeted by two men in their 20s while shopping at the city’s popular Saturday market.

One, thought to be aged between 25 and 27, distracted the former plumber and heating engineer with erratic and aggressive behaviour and stole his wallet.

Mr Hamilton, of Telford Close, said: "He came up to me pulling faces. I thought he was a lunatic.

"He ran up against my head like he was going to bite my nose off and while he was doing that he took my wallet.

"I lost everything. It was a terrible ordeal."

Mr Hamilton lost his bank cards, gardening vouchers, telephone cards and £130 cash that was in his wallet.

He said the theft, which occurred on Saturday April 12, at about midday on St Peter’s Street, has had a lasting effect.

He said: "I didn’t realise what was happening.

"I’m 78 years old, I’m not that quick - I have a walking stick.

"I’m still shaking. I can’t stop. I’m very cautious and very careful now.

"When I’m walking out amongst people, I can’t trust anyone. It’s awful."

Mr Hamilton, who has championed charity events and raised £13,000 for Children in Need, said people need to be warned professional criminals are operating at the market.

The 78-year-old continued: "It was a terrible experience.

"I’ve heard about this before in St Albans, but it’s not until it happens to you it hits home.

"People need to be careful when shopping, there are terrible people about. You don’t know they’re watching you and then they pounce."

Hertfordshire Constabulary confirmed no one has been charged in connection with the incident.

Giles Cooper, with the force, said: "We are investigating a report of theft from Saturday, April 12 at 12.05pm on St Peter’s Street in St Albans.

"Two males were involved, they distracted the victim and the theft occurred.

"We have a description for one of the thieves. A white male, aged between 25 and 27, approximately six foot in height and medium build.

"He also had an English accent and was wearing a grey long sleeve top."

Anyone with information on the crime is urged to contact PC Shaun Woods through the police’s 101 phone number, or alternatively to contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, quoting the crime reference number F1141190.

Comments (4)

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4:32pm Fri 25 Apr 14

WatfordBandB says...

Hope they get 3 days in prison for this, or even 4...
Hope they get 3 days in prison for this, or even 4... WatfordBandB
  • Score: 0

4:40pm Fri 25 Apr 14

Wacko Jacko says...

What's surprising is that no-one seems to have gone to the pensioner's assistance, the market is a busy place, so many others must have been aware of what was going on. I hope the police catch the scumbags.
What's surprising is that no-one seems to have gone to the pensioner's assistance, the market is a busy place, so many others must have been aware of what was going on. I hope the police catch the scumbags. Wacko Jacko
  • Score: 6

11:56pm Fri 25 Apr 14

IanFBram says...

Never carry a wallet and only take with you the minimum of cash required along with a single credit card..........and keep them in your trouser pocket. £130 is a lot of money to take to the market unless you are looking for something in particular.
Never carry a wallet and only take with you the minimum of cash required along with a single credit card..........and keep them in your trouser pocket. £130 is a lot of money to take to the market unless you are looking for something in particular. IanFBram
  • Score: -1

10:47pm Sat 26 Apr 14

G_Whiz says...

Being a Liberal i must stick up for the mugger, he obviously needs help and just needed the money for drugs. He is probably a nice bloke too, just misunderstood!
I'm sure my fellow liberals at the market ignored the incident as they felt sorry for him too!

I agree with the Courts, Government and Guardian readers as they make it quite clear that they don't give a **** about victims too!
Being a Liberal i must stick up for the mugger, he obviously needs help and just needed the money for drugs. He is probably a nice bloke too, just misunderstood! I'm sure my fellow liberals at the market ignored the incident as they felt sorry for him too! I agree with the Courts, Government and Guardian readers as they make it quite clear that they don't give a **** about victims too! G_Whiz
  • Score: 7

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