An OAP war hero told a violent burglar “I shot better men than you in Korea” as he and his wife sat on him until police arrived.
John Headington, 85, who fought in the Korean War, and partner Susan, 57, confronted knife-carrying Robert Barnes after he broke into their home at night.
Dad-of-10 John, who has had two hip replacements, got Barnes, 28, in a bear-hug as he tried to steal some of his prized model railway collection.
When the intruder barged past Susan, she bravely elbowed him to the floor before sitting on top of him.
When John joined her, Barnes begged, “get off me, I can’t breathe” to which the OAP replied: “We don’t want you to breathe, I shot better men than you in Korea.”
Former railway worker John said: “We are usually mild-mannered people, so our family were certainly surprised.
“There was a struggle and I got him in a bear-hug, we were really getting to know each other. I fell backwards, then he was on to the stairs where my wife was still on the phone to the police.”
Susan added: “We just acted on instinct. The way he landed meant he was trapped between the walls and the stairs. We are not petite, but we are not heavy either.
“We couldn’t sleep a wink for the rest of the night because of the adrenaline.”
John and mum-of-three Susan, who married 11 years ago, were asleep when Barnes smashed his way into their home with a brick last November.
Barnes claimed to have no memory of the burglary after drinking a litre of vodka and whiskey.
Police found he was carrying a butter knife during the raid on the Headingtons’ cottage in a South Lincs village.
At Lincoln crown court, judge Simon Hirst told Barnes: “Mr and Mrs Headington must have been terrified by the presence of you in their home. They have behaved with remarkable bravery.”
Barnes, of no fixed address, admitted the charges and was jailed for two years and four months.
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