A disabled woman fended off a mugger in a Derby park by whacking him in the face with her walking stick.
Sam Boyce was walking through Littleover’s Havenbaulk Park yesterday lunchtime when a teenage boy tried to grab her bag.
But the plucky 47-year-old, who has difficulty moving around and was only taking a walk to get her strength up, “cracked him a good ’un” by hitting him in the mouth with her walking stick.
Ms Boyce said the teenager, who was joined by a second boy a few metres away, was left with a “shocked look on his face” – but she managed to keep her bag.
The former University of Derby security guard said: “I think we were both shocked because I didn’t expect me to do that.
“Then I shouted get off you little s***!
“I didn’t think. I just acted. If I’d have thought about it, I would have crumbled, but I just reacted. I’m just glad he was a kid and not a great big man.”
Ms Boyce suffers from psoriatic arthritis, fibromyalgia and three collapsed discs in her lower back, which all affect her mobility. Due to her illness she has not worked since 2011.
Because she walks slowly and with a limp, Ms Boyce believes the muggers thought they were targeting an old person.
She said: “I felt my bag grabbed. I didn’t have a clue they were there. I just felt a really strong tug on by bag. Instinctively I turned around with my stick and whacked him in the face.
“Then he bolted, and the other one followed. As they ran away, I stood and watched them because I didn’t want to turn my back. I was just in shock.”
The mum-of-one, who lives in Littleover, turned to a stranger for help following the incident and burst into tears.
She said the kind dog-walker took her home and made sure she was OK.
The plucky woman was left with injuries to her hands and arms. (Image: Sam Boyce)
However, following the incident Ms Boyce realised she had been left with “really painful” swollen hands and arms.
Ms Boyce said she had only recently worked up the confidence to get out and about after being housebound for a year.
She said: “In the beginning of January, I started forcing myself to walk around the block. I had just started to enjoy it.
“I don’t know if I’ll be able to go out again. I’m still shaking now. I don’t know what I’m going to do.”
Ms Boyce described both the muggers as white, around 15 or 16, and said they wore dark-coloured tops and jeans, and trainers.
Derbyshire police confirmed they were investigating the incident. A spokesman asked anyone with information to call 101 quoting incident number 18000080507.