Woman foils knifepoint robbery bid with handbag

The woman who was the victim of a knife attack in Lurgan on Saturday evening. INLM1611-155gc
The woman who was the victim of a knife attack in Lurgan on Saturday evening. INLM1611-155gc

A BRAVE Lurgan woman has spoken of a “terrifying” experience after she chased off a knife-wielding robber with her hand bag.

The 61-year-old, who did not want to be identified, was attacked as she made her way home on Saturday night (April 16) after attending a show in Belfast’s Grand Opera House.

“I got the train home from Belfast and was offered a lift home,” she said.

“However, it was such a lovely evening I decided to walk home.

“I made my way through Shankill, then took a shortcut through the alleyway at Sloan Street into Manor Park. It was around 9.30pm.

“I saw the young fella at the top of Francis Street. As he crossed the road he kept his head down and pulled the zip on his jacket over his face. I didn’t think anything of it at the time.”

She continued: “As I made my way along the alleyway, I was attacked. I didn’t hear anything, but I felt somebody close behind me.

“I turned round and recognised the guy as the same person who crossed the road at Franics Street. He jumped on me and tried to take my handbag. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make out his face.

“I shake everytime I think about it. It was just so terrifying.”

The attacker, who was described as being around 17-years-old, then took out a knife.

“He put it to my face and neck. He kept telling me to give him my handbag, but because of the way it got tangled around my neck I actually couldn’t give it to him.

“All the while, he kept pulling at it and screaming in my face. He then pulled it really hard and the leather strap broke in two.

“At this point, we both fell back but I still had the hand bag.

“I steadied myself and started to hit him with it. I think I hit him two or three times.

“He picked up the knife which he had dropped. When he did this, I started shouting for help. He must have thought I was shouting to someone who was there as he then ran away.”

The victim suffered no injuries, but said she was left traumatised.

“I’ve lived in Lurgan all my life and I have never came across anything like this before. I never felt nervous in this area and walked down that alley all the time.

“I’ll certainly not be doing it again.”

The attacker was said to be around 5’2” tall, of a slim build and had dirty fair hair.

He wearing dark coloured bottoms and a bomber style jacket.

Anyone who was in the area and who noticed this youth or who witnessed the attempted robbery is asked to contact police on 0845 600 8000.

Alternatively, if someone would prefer to provide information without leaving their details they can contact the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.