TWO pensioners who tackled a crossbow wielding would-be robber after he fired a bolt at one of them have been commended by a Leeds Crown Court judge.
Judge Tom Bayliss QC praised the men aged 73 and 82 before jailing their 40-year-old attacker Pawel Kurek for six years.
Kurek – who was wearing a pillowcase on his head with slits for eyeholes – walked into a 73-year-old man’s back garden in Wakefield and stroked one of his rabbits before demanding cash as he pointed a loaded crossbow at his face.
Polish national Kurek then fired a bolt at the OAP’s stomach and was trying to reload when the pensioner tackled him to the ground during the incident at around 1.30pm on August 29.
Prosecutor, Heather Gilmore, said Kurek grabbed the pensioner by the neck and was squeezing so tightly the OAP feared he would lose consciousness.
Ms Gilmore said an 82-year-old neighbour then stepped in to help armed with a garden hoe, adding: “He told his wife to call police and joined in the fracas, trying to get the defendant off the complainant. Kurek managed to get the hoe from him and hit him (the neighbour) on his back with it.” Kurek fled to Thornes Park where he was arrested by police.
The court heard the 73-year-old’s thick clothing had stopped the metal-tipped crossbow bolt piercing his skin.
Kurek admitted attempted robbery, common assault and possessing an offensive weapon. Mitigating, John Wilkinson said Kurek has no previous convictions. Mr Wilkinson said his client couldn’t pay his rent as he’d made two trips to Poland to visit his 14-year-old daughter who had been involved in an accident.
Judge Bayliss commended the pensioners and told Kurek: “It must have been a terrifying experience. You, having pointed a crossbow at his face, went on and fired it into his stomach.”