Pensioners fight off drugs burglar with mop
Updated 3:58pm Thursday 16th January 2014 in By Dominic Gilbert
A PENSIONER tackled a burglar with a mop and stood guard over him until the police arrived after the drug addict had tried to steal his prescription medication.
On November 28, Giles Rees walked into the home of 65-year-old Leslie Pupko while he and wife Linda, 66, were asleep in front of the television.
A dog raised the alarm while Rees stuffed his pockets with boxes of pills, having spotted them on the windowsill.
The couple say they feel sorry for Rees, who is addicted to prescription drugs, after realising he was the father of two young girls.
“When I saw what a state he was in, it seemed a very sad case,” said Linda. “His wallet fell open and we saw pictures of two girls. I said to him if it was down to me I would have let him off for the sake of his children. It was that which upset me. But he wasn’t getting out of there. We are no pushovers.”
Leslie restrained Rees and locked him in the kitchen while Linda called the police.
“He was out of his tree, and did not know what he was doing,” said Leslie. “He made for the door and I grabbed him.
“All he wanted to do was get out of the door, but I managed to trap his sleeve. He wasn’t aggressive, but he pulled his arm out. He was unsteady on his feet, and I grabbed the mop and went round to cut him off. I threatened him with the mop, which broke and cut his finger.”
Linda tended to Rees’ injuries and said she had been torn as to whether to call the police.
“I was talking to him nicely to keep him calm because I didn’t want any confrontation,” she said. “The police did say we had done him a favour. He is sorry and it has put him in the right direction.
“I think people like him should be highlighted, as well as people like us who leave things lying around. But I am determined he is not going to frighten me. If we lock ourselves in that means he has won.”
Leslie added: “If he was in a fit state he probably would have hit me and run, but he was drugged up.”
Rees, 30 of Northern Road, pleaded guilty to burglary of the house on Ferndale Road at Swindon Crown Court on Tuesday.
Rob Ross, defending, said although his client had no previous convictions, he had problems with prescription drugs for some time.
Passing sentence Judge Douglas Field said: “The circumstances are indeed very unusual.”
He imposed a six month jail term suspended for a year and put Rees on a six-month drug rehabilitation. requirement and an eight-week night-time curfew.
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