We’ve all heard stories about the elderly being victimized because they are “easy” targets. They are favorite targets for phone scams, door-to-door sales, and even simple thieves. They are so vulnerable that they get targeted at the most amazing moments.
When one granny was accosted by three men during a shopping trip, the narrative pretty much writes itself. However, what they didn’t realize was that she was no ordinary granny. She had a few surprises up her sleeve.
77-year-old Winifred Peel from a small town near Liverpool, doesn’t look different to any other older woman. She keeps herself fairly busy in her retirement. She enjoyed the less hurried pace of her life and happily went about her daily business.
Growing up Winifred had always led an active lifestyle. She loved to help her father who loved to tinker and fix things at home and she became involved in various sports. However, something stuck with her through all the years and as it turned out, may have saved her life.
While on her way to her favorite cafe for some tea and cake, Winifred passed a group of young men near the bank. They were standing around arguing with each other but she didn’t give them much thought. However, as it turned out, she should have paid more attention to them.
While on her way she remembered that she needed to find a gift for her best friend’s daughter. She quickly went into the shops and found the perfect gift, only to discover she didn’t have any cash. Since it was a small town there weren’t any banks nearby so she set off at a brisk pace to the closest ATM.
After several minutes Winifred finally spied an ATM and began to approach. As she drew closer she began to fumble in her bag looking for her bank card. She couldn’t find the card so she stopped short of the ATM so she good search her bag properly.
It was while staring into the depths of her bag that she became aware of a shuffling behind her. She had no idea that her brief hesitation was about to become a defining moment in her life. She looked up and her face flushed.
Hearing the shuffling behind her, she immediately assumed she was in someone else who wanted to use the machine’s way. She turned to see a woman behind her patiently waiting for her to go about her business.
Knowing she’ll be a moment Winifred turned to the woman and said “You go ahead, I’ll be a minute”. The woman thanked her and stepped up to the machine while Winifred searched her bag. Little did she know that danger was fast approaching.
Winifred had always been a fairly trusting person. She always believed in the good in people and lived by the motto “give kindness, receive kindness back”. It was a mindset that had served her well through the years.
As she stood there searching her bag, she noticed several shadows looming over her. She didn’t give it much thought as she rummaged through her bag, finally producing her bank card. However, that would turn out to be a mistake.
Winifred slipped her card into the machine and followed all the normal prompts. She typed in her PIN code and pressed the ‘Continue’ button. It was at that moment that felt she herself knocked to the ground as her vision blurred.
Dazed and confused, Winifred didn’t know what’s going on. She tried to get her bearings and make sense of what was happening. One thing was clear, she was in danger. However, how would she be able to defend herself.
Everything had happened in the merest blink of an eye. From the shadows, entering her pin, the shuffling, and finding herself on the ground. It had all happened so fast that she hadn’t really had time to register.
She felt the pain shoot through her body as she fell to the ground. That’s when the adrenaline kicked it. She felt it surge through her as she shook off the pain thinking: “You’re not taking my money, young man.” She got up and rounded on the man, doing something unthinkable.
Seething with anger she sprung back to her feet. Before they had the time to react, she was on top of them. It was the same three men who’d been making a scene at the bank earlier.
Clearly, they thought they’d have more luck hassling old ladies. But Winny was a poor choice of target.
Lunging at the closest, she grabbed his head and used her full weight to wrestle him against the wall. The seconds seem to have frozen and Winny’s face was unreadable, no fear or anger. In that instant, the thieves flew right at her.
Winny was old but very strong after all. Six pairs of rough hands tried to seize her, but Winny’s right hand shot out and landed on one thief’s face. Panicking, his accomplices wrestled him free then sprinted away down the road.
Still full of adrenaline, Winny made to give chase, before the gravity of the situation finally hit her. “It was only afterwards that I realised what I’d done and started shaking,” she said, “what if he’d had a knife? I might not be here today.”
Thinking she’d let them get away, she cursed to herself. But it wasn’t over yet.
Hearing the noise, some people nearby turned the corner to see Winifred looking distressed. Running to her aid, she waved them off, instead insisting they catch the assailants.
While one person stayed with her, the other two hurried off around the corner, hoping to catch a glimpse of them before it was too late.
The unlucky trio of teenage criminals – Felix Stoica, 19, Piper Dumitru, 18, and Florin Geblescu, 18 – Were looking for “easy targets” that night, but underestimated Winny’s determination not to be taken advantage of.
They had driven to Bromborough from Manchester in search of vulnerable prey to target. But they got a lot more than they bargained for.
The chase was short-lived. The good samaritans had been just a touch too late to see where the attackers had run to but the police weren’t far behind. In her furious counter-attack, Winny had caused a fair amount of damage.
The wall and floor surrounding the cash machine was marked from the attack, with the trail leading off around the corner.
For years, Winifred had visited the gym four times a week. As she grew older, her routine had become less intensive, yet her persistence ensured she was still fighting fit. On the day of her attack, her body took the reigns, using every ounce of strength to defend herself.
Unleashing her anger, she had ensured that the would-be thieves would be brought to justice.
It wasn’t long before the police caught the offenders. With a significant wound showing on his head, the man who first pushed Winny to the ground was tracked down, loitering up the road. With no plan of escape, his partners were skulking close by.
Once rounded up, they were soon served the justice they deserved.
Looking back, Winifred remains shaken by the incident. Had she been less fit, the attack may have ended up much worse. After their arrest, the young men quickly confessed to their horrid attack. The case was quickly brought to court, where each was sentenced to time in prison.
Speaking about the nature of their crime, the judge derided their shameless actions, accusing them of “casting a shadow” over Winny’s twilight years.