101-year-old war veteran held thief in a bearhug

101-year-old war veteran held thief in a bearhug


A thief held in a bear hug by a 101-year-old war veteran he tried to steal from was jailed today.

Stephen Gillespie was grappled by Kazimierz Michalski, a pensioner who fought in World War II and survived the Russian Gulags, as he rifled through his wallet.

The 47-year-old was held until he turned red and began gasping for breath.

Jailing him for three years Mr Recorder Mark Ockelton told Gillespie: ‘You had bitten off more than you could chew, because when he realised what had happened he got hold of you… and immobilised you for a while.’

Gillespie met the former chief librarian at a church service in St Giles, Oxfordshirein March.

He befriended him and offered his services as a builder.

But Mr Michalski caught him stealing £300 from his wallet when he was meant to be fixing his leaky roof.

Heroin addict Gillespie was found guilty of theft but cleared of robbery.

Speaking after sentencing at Oxford Crown Court, Mr Michalski said: ‘He is a pickpocket and a weakling.’