‘Get off me you bugger!’: Brave pensioner fights off Leeds alleyway robber with her handbag

Michael Kirk.
Michael Kirk.

A judge praised the “strength and fortitude” of a pensioner for fighting off a thug who tried to rob her of her handbag in an alleyway attack.

Michael Kirk fled after the 77-year-old woman hit him over the head with her handbag and shouted: “Get off me you bugger!”

Leeds Crown Court heard Kirk targeted the pensioner as she was walking to her part-time job on a stall at Morley Market.

Kirk followed her into an alleyway close to the market on May 23 this year.

Dave Mackay, prosecuting, said: “He grabbed the strap of her handbag and tried violently to pull it away.”

The victim held on to the bag and was spun around.

The prosecutor added: “She was heard to say ‘get off me you bugger’ and hit him on the head with it.

She fell to the ground and banged her knee but managed to get up and chase after him

Members of the public also joined in the chase but Kirk managed to get away.

He was arrested after being recognised from CCTV footage as he ran away through Morley. Kirk, 40, of Chapel Hill, Morley, pleaded guilty to attempted robbery. Ian Cook, mitigating, said “The defendant views these offence as cowardly.

“It is not the sort of offence he has committed in the past. He takes a dim view of what he has done.”

Mr Cook said Kirk was desperate for money to fund his addiction to heroin when he committed the offence.

Kirk was jailed for two years, three months.

Judge Christopher Batty told Kirk: “You saw the complainant as easy money.

“What you didn’t expect was her to have the strength and fortitude to fight back.

“She set off in pursuit of you and you ran away.”