Liverpool

Chester army veteran in wheelchair fights off muggers

Roger Mercer Image copyright Vicki Mercer
Image caption Mr Mercer was understood to be training for the Chester Half Marathon when the attack happened

Knife-wielding muggers who tried to steal a mobile phone from a man in a wheelchair got more than they bargained for when the army veteran fought back.

Police said Roger Mercer, 38, was making his way along a canal towpath near Chester Crematorium on Sunday when the would-be robbers confronted him.

One, brandishing an 8in (20cm) knife, demanded Mr Mercer's phone but he shoved him and the blade to the ground.

Police said he then fended off the other man who grabbed him from behind.

A Cheshire Police spokesman said one of the attackers then hit the victim's wheelchair, causing it to fall on its side, before they fled towards the city centre.

Mr Mercer was out training for the Chester Half Marathon at the time of the attack, according to the Chester Chronicle.

The 6ft 7in (2m) cub leader, who was injured on duty in Afghanistan in 2007, is raising money for his scout group.

'Extremely brave'

Det Con Tom Philpotts said: "This was an opportunistic robbery by thieves who thought they could prey on a defenceless disabled man in order to steal his phone.

"In this case the victim was extremely brave and lucky to be able to fight off his attackers, preventing them from causing him serious harm or taking his phone."

One of the suspects is described as white, between 5ft 8in and 6ft, and of slim build. In his 20s and speaking with a Liverpool accent, he has blue eyes and was wearing a dark hoodie and gloves.

While there is no description of the second man, he may have sustained scratch marks to his face during the incident.

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