Pensioner fought-off violent trilby-wearing robber with Sudoku pen

Ronald Storey
Ronald Storey
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A ROBBER threw a blanket over a pensioner’s head and repeatedly punched him during a terrifying raid at his home.

Ronald Storey disguised himself in a trilby hat, long coat and a scarf over his face before bursting into the 81-year-old’s Sunderland home.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the terrified victim, who has mobility problems, is now living in fear of being attacked again.

The pensioner had been sitting doing a Sudoku puzzle when his home was raided by 37-year-old Storey.

Prosecutor Michael Bunch told the court: “He heard the living room door open and strike the back of his chair.

“He felt something he described as a blanket being thrown over his head.

“He was then subjected to an attack, punched to the face and cheek.”

The court heard the victim bravely started to struggle and struck out with the pen he had been using to do the puzzle.

This caused Storey to fall to the floor and he fled the Red House property after picking up the pensioner’s wallet containing £100.

He was collared when a member of the public saw him dump his disguise in a wheelie bin and alerted the police.

A sheet found alongside the discarded hat and coat contained traces of Storey’s DNA.

The victim said in his statement: “I was extremely shocked he entered my house, attacked me and stole my wallet.

“It is an outrage this man can attack a pensioner in this manner.

“I will have to keep my doors locked at all times and it will effect my independence.

“I am afraid he will return and attack me again.

“I will be afraid for my safety when I leave the house.”

Storey, of no fixed address, admitted robbery, which happened in October.

He told police he had targeted the victim because he needed money for drugs and was aware of where the pensioner kept his wallet.

He took a single bedsheet to the house with him to restrain the pensioner and to try and stop him seeing who was carrying out the attack.

Judge Michael Cartlidge sentenced him to four years behind bars.

The judge said: “The defendant had planned this operation by taking the sheet with him and he covered his face with a scarf.

“The complainant is going to have to spend the rest of his life worrying about who is coming to his door.”

Jamie Adams, defending, said Storey is not heavily convicted and deeply regrets what he did.

Mr Adams added: “This has caused enormous problems for him in the area he lives, one can imagine the high feelings endemic in the area because of this.

“He is well known in the area and it has not exactly made him popular.”

The court heard Storey has written a letter of apology to the judge as well as one to his victim.