Prison for thieves foiled by grandmother

Feb. 18, 2011 at 1:35 AM

BRIGHTON, England, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- Two robbers who made the mistake of tangling with two employees at an English antique store, one of them a grandmother, were sent to prison Thursday.

William Smith of Cranbrook, Kent, got six years at a hearing in Brighton Crown Court, while Leon Holder of Hawkshurst, Kent, got an additional year because he knocked an elderly man down while trying to escape, The Sun reported.

Smith and Holder apparently thought a store specializing in antique jewelry in Battle, a historic town in East Sussex, would be easy pickings. But police said Susan Jenner, 67, and Maria Swain, 44, proved to be a match for them.

When Holder and Smith smashed a display case in September, the women hit them with iron bars normally used in measurements for rings. Smith collapsed outside the store and passersby held him for police.

Holder got away with thousands of pounds worth of jewelry but was arrested within hours. Both eventually pleaded guilty.

"I don't think they thought two old women would fight back. They thought we'd run screaming," Jenner told reporters in September. "Well, they were very much mistaken. We just started whacking them as hard as we could."

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