‘You must be joking’ as gran thwarts Leeds shop knifeman

'I'D DO IT AGAIN': Ann Dalton, with eldest daughter Nicola, at the salon in Rothwell. PIC:  Tony Johnson
'I'D DO IT AGAIN': Ann Dalton, with eldest daughter Nicola, at the salon in Rothwell. PIC: Tony Johnson
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A GRANDMOTHER told a knife-wielding masked raider ‘you must be joking’ – before throwing him out of her family-run Leeds hairdressing salon.

Ann Dalton, 65, showed no fear when the thug burst in to Haircharm in Rothwell before pulling out a 10-inch hunting knife and demanding cash.

The brave pensioner put down her hair colouring kit and grabbed the hapless raider during the incident on Friday. Mrs Dalton’s two daughters – who both work at the salon – and her three-year-old granddaughter were in the shop along with two customers when the drama unfolded. Mrs Dalton said: “He pulled out a knife with a serrated blade. He moved towards me and I said ‘you must be joking.’”

She added: “I would do it again. I’m not being threatened in my own property.”

The attempted robbery happened at the salon at the junction of Carlton Lane and Butcher Lane just after 1.30pm on Friday.

Mrs Dalton, who has worked at the salon for 44 years, was colouring her 26-year-old daughter Stephanie Dalton’s hair when the raider walked in. Her eldest daughter Nicola Maddock, 35, was cutting a customer’s hair and Nicola’s three year-old daughter Alexia was with hairdresser Susan Ward in a back room.

Mrs Dalton said: “He came towards me with this knife. I grabbed his arm and pulled him out of the shop and I was screaming ‘get out, get out’ at him.

“He flew past me and landed on the pavement. The knife touched me as he flew past me.

“He stood and looked at me in complete amazement. I rushed in and shut the door and he ran off. It freaked my daughters out because they saw me fighting with him and they thought I was going to get stabbed. It’s how I am and I would do it again. I had two daughters in there and a grandchild. We had two customers in there as well. You have got to protect people that are your responsibility.”

Police said the suspect is described as a thin, mixed race male, 5ft 8ins to 6ft tall.

He wore a black jacket, light coloured bottoms and was carrying a bright yellow drawstring carrier bag.

Call police on 101 with information.

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