Devon

Disabled Devon woman headbutts mugger

A Devon grandmother who fought off teenage muggers says she did it as an example to her grandchildren.

The 49-year-old's mobility scooter was tipped over by three youths in hooded tops in Barnstaple.

But the woman fought back, headbutting one of the attackers, causing them to flee empty-handed.

The mother-of-six, who did not want to be named, said that her 24 grandchildren would have expected her to be strong.

Attack 'nightmares'

She said: "I had five brothers and because I was the smallest they used to pick on me and I always fended for myself.

"I thought I am not not going to show my grandkids I am afraid."

The attack happened at about 1930 BST on 25 March in the Whiddon Valley area of the town as the grandmother returned home from the fish and chip shop.

The three young attackers appeared from woodland next to the path on Westacott Road.

She was tipped from her scooter and kicked, needing hospital treatment for face and stomach injuries.

But the woman, who has battled angina and heart attacks, headbutted one of the attackers who fled empty handed.

As a result of the attack she said she needed to buy a new scooter with her savings and has had nightmares about the attack.

'Despicable crime'

"I have been crying myself to sleep," she said.

One of the attackers is described as white, aged 18 to 20, 5ft 8in tall with short, spiky dark hair that had blonde streaks at the front, and a slim build.

He was wearing a grey hoodie and jogging trousers. His accomplices were the same age and similarly dressed.

Det Con Sam Napier, from Barnstaple CID, said: "It was a despicable crime.

"This woman is extremely vulnerable which makes it all the more shocking."

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