You know what they say: never judge a book by its cover. However, no one could have expected what was going to happen in this story. This group of young men thought that Winifred Peel was just a frail elderly woman who would not bother to put up a fight. As these muggers were trying to pick a victim, they thought that they had it in the bag. Unfortunately for them, they chose the wrong person to mess with on that fateful day. She might not have looked the part, but she was much stronger than they thought she would be.
Not An Easy Target
It is unfortunate, but there is no denying the fact that senior citizens are the target of many people with bad intentions. They are thought to be vulnerable, so they are often victimized by phone scams, door-to-door salesmen, and good old thieves. Winifred had been on a shopping trip when she went through a terrifying encounter. It was a good thing that she had skills that made her different from other people her age.
She Led A Quiet Life
Winifred “Winny” Peel was 77 years old when it happened. She does not look any different from other elderly women in her small town close to Liverpool. Now retired, she preferred to live her life at a modest pace. Even though she was never in a hurry, she used to be active when she was young. She used to help her father around the house and grew to be passionate about sports. Through the years, there was a particular discipline that had stayed with her. This was what saved her on the day in question.
Making Her Way Through Town
She had been making her way through the town and grabbed a cake and some tea at her favorite coffee shop. As she walked past the local bank, she saw that there was some commotion happening there. A couple of young men were arguing with one another. Apparently, she should have taken a good long look at them at the time. At the time, she wanted to buy a gift for the daughter of her best friend. However, she realized that she did not have cash on her when she reached the store.
A Moment Of Vulnerability
There were not many banks around, so she had to walk some more to get to the nearest one. Fortunately, she was still strong for a woman her age. However, she did not know that someone had been watching her… There were only a couple of meters to go, so she reached into the handbag to get her cards. She had no idea that this action was going to make her vulnerable. When she heard a noise behind her, her face turned red.
She Had Been Distracted
Her hands started to tremble. Back then, she was still clueless about what was about to happen. She headed to the ATM outside a bank in Bromborough, Wirral. Winny was still going through her bag for her cards. When she turned around, she saw that there was someone else waiting in line. “You go ahead,” she told the woman, “I’ll be a minute.” The woman used the ATM after thanking her.
Not One To Mistrust People
Now distracted, Winny did not notice the danger lurking behind her. The truth is that she had never been the sort of person to mistrust others. She lived on this motto: “give kindness, receive kindness back.” She would mind her own business without any worries. Even when she saw shadows reflected on the ATM screen, she did not feel alarmed in the slightest. It would have been better if she did!
All Of A Sudden
Winny put in her PIN and pressed the ‘Continue’ button. When she heard the ATM beep, however, her eyesight went blurry all of a sudden. Someone just threw her to the ground! What was happening? And how was she going to react to this unexpected bout of violence? Was she going to be all right? Everything happened so quickly, she barely had any time to react.
Much To Their Surprise
The whole thing took place in a split second. There was a shuffling of feet, and that was it. The next thing she knew, she was on the ground. She felt pain rush through her body. She heard someone say “it’s not working”. The £200 she had withdrawn was gone in a flash. The A rush of adrenaline soon kicked in, and she shook herself off. To herself, she thought, “You’re not taking my money, young man.”
They Did Not Expect This
Anger was rushing through her veins as she picked herself up from the ground and did the unthinkable. She was seeing red as she got back on her feet. The men did not have any time to react before they found her on top of them. They were the three guys who had been making a scene earlier today. They must have thought that it would be easy to hassle old ladies. Well, she wasn’t having it.
She Gave Them Hell
They were about to be proven very wrong. Winny lunged at the one closest to her and grabbed him by the collar of his shirt. She then used all her weight to pin him against the ATM. She slammed his head into the wall not once, but three times. It felt like time slowed down, but her face remained unreadable and devoid of anger and fear. All of a sudden, they flew at her. Even though she was old, she was still very strong.
The Gravity Of The Situation
Six hands tried to grab at her, but she hit one of the thieves right in the face. In a panic, the accomplices freed him from her and ran down the street. She was still running on adrenaline and thought about chasing them before it hit her. The gravity of the situation dawned on her at that moment. “It was only afterward that I realized what I’d done and started shaking,” she shared, “what if he’d had a knife? I might not be here today.”
People Rushed In To Help Her
However, it turned out that there was more to come. After hearing the commotion, a couple of people in the area saw her in distress. They ran over to help her out, but the elderly woman simply waved them away. She insisted that they should instead chase the assailants. One person remained with her as two others hurried off in an attempt to at least get a look at the men.
Looking For A Vulnerable Prey
The criminal trio was made up of teens: 18-year-old Piper Dumitru, 18-year-old Florin Geblescu, and 19-year-old Felix Stoica. They had been on the lookout for “easy targets,” but they had been sorely mistaken when they thought that Winny was one. They drove from Manchester and into Bromborough in the hopes of finding prey. However, this was much more than they had signed up for.
Tracking Down The Young Men
The chase did not go on for long. Even though the good Samaritans were too late to figure out where the three men went, the police had been hot on their heels already. After her amazing counterattack, Winny caused quite a lot of damage. The floor and the wall around the ATM did not go unscathed from the incident. The trail led off around the corner from the bank.
Fit To Fight
For many years, Winny went to the gym four times per week. When she got older, her routine became less intensive, but she remained fit thanks to her persistence. On that fateful day, she simply let her strength do its thing. Her body relied on all the strength she could muster to defend herself. She unleashed her fury and ensured that the trio was going to be brought to justice.
The Police Soon Found Them
It did not take long before the authorities caught the assailants. The one who first pushed the old lady had a serious wound on his head. He was discovered loitering up the street. They did not seem too intent on escaping as they found his partners skulking nearby. Once the police caught all of them, it was time to punish them for what they did.
Paying For Their Crimes
Even though she went on to win the fight, Winny is still shaken by what happened and felt it would have a lasting effect on her. She said in court, “They did not care about how this would affect me. I would definitely say this has changed my life, I will never have the confidence I once did. I only hope my confidence returns”. After all, the incident would probably have been so much worse if she had not been that strong.
Going Down Without A Fight
She continued, saying, “I would never hand anything over without a fight. My three brothers have ribbed me about it. We used to fight all the time when we were growing up so I suppose I‘d learned to look after myself.” When the young men were arrested, they confessed right away. The case was then brought to court, and they were all given prison time. The judge expressed his contempt for what they did and accused the trio of “casting a shadow” over the twilight years of this elderly woman.
William Beardmore, the prosecutor on the case, said to the Liverpool Crown Court that ‘The complainant became aware of somebody standing to her right. He pushed against her, causing her to rock to one side, and she recognized him as a male she had seen exiting Barclays Bank earlier. ‘He said, “it’s not working”. She then became aware of a second male she also recognized from having left Barclays Bank. ‘He leaned over her and pressed the button to withdraw £200, and at that point, she realized she was being robbed. She took hold of the second male by the collar and banged his head against the cash machine three times to try and stop him.’
“I’m pleased they’ve been locked up, or otherwise they would be looking for more people to rob who maybe wouldn’t have been able to look after themselves like I was,” Winifred said. The men were all charged with attempted robbery. Stoica, 19, received two years; Geblescu, 18, received 18 months; Dumitru, 18, was sentenced to eight months. While the entire situation was dire and frightening, at the very least, justice was served.
Less Than Impressed
The judge on the case was less than impressed. Judge Norman Wright said: ‘You targeted a vulnerable victim, a lady who was 77 years of age. Notwithstanding her age, she resisted, there was a struggle before you made good your escape.’ The boys’ defense teams said they had ‘made a terrible mistake’ and told the court that they were all struggling financially, leading them to a life of crime.
As if what they did wasn’t enough, it turned out that Dumitru, who was the lookout for the other time during the attack, had driven the gang to Bromborough from Manchester. This is despite the fact that he had been disqualified for a past of dangerous driving. Stoica, on the other hand, had numerous previous convictions for robbery himself. All we can say is that it’s lucky this woman was able to defend herself. Not to mention that there were CCTV cameras that caught the entire thing on tape. However, this wasn’t the only story like this.
In South Wales, a similar occurrence happened, only it was to a 77-year-old man named Trevor. It turns out that British pensioners have something in their coffee to make them stronger than anyone else. A security camera caught this entire incident on tape. Trevor was out in Cardiff and decided to go ahead and withdraw some cash from an ATM outside a grocery store. He had parked his car and walked toward the ATM.
As he was doing his thing, the camera footage showed the robber sneak up to Trevor from behind. The suspect wore a hi-vis jacket, a baseball cap, and a black backpack. Quickly, he grabbed the grandfather of three and pushed him against a trashcan nearby. All the while, he’d been waving a weapon at the man, demanding he hand over his wallet and all his money. He never could have expected Trevor to fight back.
Putting Up A Fight
Without thinking twice, Trevor stood his ground. He threw a succession of well-timed punches at the attacker. That is until the robber eventually ran away from the man without looking back. In the tape, it was clear that the attacker was holding something pointed, perhaps a knife. Trevor said he instinctively put up his fists. “I’ve never had a fight in my life, even when I was dealing with troublemakers on the buses years ago,” he said.
Back In Time
Speaking of his bus troubles, Trevor said, “If anyone got on who was drunk, aggressive and refusing to pay, I’d go, ‘just go and sit down, mate’ – it wasn’t worth the hassle. But, in this instance, when he demanded I hand over my money, I replied, ‘you what? Do you want some of this, pal?’ And I put up my guard.” He continued, “Actually, it’s a good job there’s no sound on that video because I probably turned the air blue with what I really said.”
Trevor said he’d broken his right shoulder previously at home. He had been putting up curtains when he fell. For that reason, he was only able to land a decent left punch on the attacker during the attempted robbery. “I cracked him a couple of times and he looked stunned like he couldn’t believe what I was doing,” he said. “And, to be honest, neither could I.” He explained that just as the tape cut out, something else happened.
Trevor managed to punch his attacker hard on the jaw, finally causing him to stagger away from the 77-year-old. “I’m up at 4 am every morning – the result of working on the buses for 37 years, I’m afraid,” said Somerset-born Trevor, who has lived in Cardiff since he was a small boy. “I needed money to buy the papers so decided to drive down to the local Sainsbury’s because all the shops closer to me charge you to make withdrawals from their cash machines.”
Just The Day
As for his luck, Trevor said that day was just the one to pick for the assailant. “Normally there’s staff milling about outside, waiting to be let in. But, that day, there was no one,” he said. “Anyway, I got out my £20 and had just put my wallet back in my pocket when this bloke – this ‘thing’ – came from nowhere, grabbed me and said, ‘give me your money or I’ll stab you’.” Once the ordeal was over, Trevor took some time to process what had happened. He had yet to call the cops.
“After he’d gone I just drove home and gave my son a lift to work. It wasn’t until about 10 am that I called the police,” he explained. “Also, I only realized afterward that the bloke had been holding a pencil, not a knife. The officers who came to my house afterward said he still could have done some damage with it though. They said at one point in the video he had it held against my neck.” All the same, things were changing for Trevor.
“To be honest, I’m surprised how calm I’ve been about it all. I’ve been expecting the adrenaline to kick in at some stage and for my hands to start shaking, but no, nothing. I’ve been getting lots of texts, as well as mentions on Twitter and Facebook apparently, but I leave all that internet stuff to my granddaughter.” Trevor continued. As for his attacker, he hadn’t gotten a good look at him since his face was mostly covered. He still figured out where the attacker was from.
“He was a young, white bloke with a Cardiff accent. I know that because I clearly heard him say ‘Oww!’ at one point after I’d smacked him,” Trevor said. After this entire thing happened, it was publicized online, naturally. As one would expect, many people on the internet had plenty to say about Trevor and his attacker. When the South Wales Police department tweeted the footage, the video soon went viral.
Soon enough, many people spoke up in praise for Trevor and the way he had acted. While many expressed concern for his safety, others praised him for his immense bravery and quick thinking. It’s not a given for anyone to react as well as he did, let alone someone in his age group or even older. One even went so far as to praise his boxing stance and how he threw punches, saying he acted perfectly.
Give Him A Medal
Another person went ahead and proposed that Trevor receive a medal for his bravery and courage. He definitely caused that attacker to think twice. Who knows, maybe the entire ordeal would make him commit less crime in the future? Maybe Trevor’s response threw him off enough to give him doubts about robbing other elderly people in the future? Only time will tell. Of course, we all hope the attacker will be caught soon.
The Element Of Surprise
Another person named Emma said Trevor was brave for pushing through his fear and acting up anyway. It’s no easy feat to pull off. This is especially true when someone is out and about minding their business and someone attacks them. Just the element of surprise can be enough to scare anyone off. The fact that Trevor was taken by surprise and he still managed to retaliate and fight off his attacker is incredible.
One person really expressed their amazement and admiration for Trevor, saying, “Hat off to this gentleman, who stood up to this evil scum, who thought he was going to have an easy target how wrong was he. Let’s catch this person before he strikes again”. If we’re being honest, we couldn’t have said it better ourselves. It really is a marvel that Trevor was able to stand his ground with such a hostile attacker.
After everything was said and done – at least with the incident, many people have wondered how Trevor is doing and handling himself after the attack. So, the Police department of South Wales decided to give them a little update on Twitter, saying they’ve been checking in on him. They said he’d been doing okay. While he was shocked and shaky after the incident, he’s on the mend and thankful that nothing worse took place.