Blackpool pensioner, 77, pins down burglar

Margaret and Brian Seery
Margaret and Brian Seery

A brave pensioner today relived the dramatic moment he turned crime fighter after finding a burglar hiding under his bed.

Retired lorry driver Brian Seery, 77, said his “gut instincts kicked in” when he spotted Amber Akram lurking in his hallway.

In that very moment I didn’t even think that he might have a knife

Mr Seery was in the study of his bungalow when he saw Akram run into a bedroom and try to hide.

But the plucky father-of-three grabbed the burglar by the legs, hit him a few times before detaining him while wife Margaret rang 999.

Today, as Akram was waking up behind bars, Mr Seery said: “I was just on the computer when I heard some rustling coming from the other room. At first I saw no one and went back to my chair.

“Within a minute of sitting down I heard another noise and in the corner of my eye I saw someone standing in the hallway so I jumped up and asked who the hell they were.

“He then went into the bedroom and dived under the bed.

“I followed him in, grabbed him by the leg, dragged him out and gave him a few smacks.

“I just thought I am going to attack him before he attacks me.”

Akram, who was on a suspended sentence for battery when the incident happened on July 28 last year, pleaded guilty to a charge of burglary with intent to steal at Preston Crown Court yesterday and was sentenced to 15 months in jail.

Robert Smith, prosecuting, told the court: “The homeowner dragged the defendant out from under the bed and yelled at his wife to call the police.

“He hit him a couple of times and placed him on a chair. The defendant was speaking nonsensically, but claimed people outside let him in. A window had been pushed wide open.

“The man was holding the defendant to the chair and Akram was not really offering any resistance.

“His trainers had been left in the hallway”.

Former shopworker Margaret, 74, said she was booking a holiday for the couple at the time at their St Annes home when she heard Brian shout to call the police.

She said: “I could not believe what I was seeing when I entered the room, I thought ‘This cannot be happening to us’. I still have no idea how I managed to dial 999, I was shaking, I was so scared.”

Brian said: “At the time you don’t think twice of the consequences but in the hindsight it might have been sensible to ring my son.

“The man could have had a knife of anything on him but in the moment you don’t think of those things.

“People who do these break-ins do not think of the consequences. If it had been an older woman on her own then she could have had a heart attack or anything.”

Akram told police at the time that he and a group of friends had been threatened by other men in Blackpool town centre during a night out to celebrate Eid, Preston Crown Court heard.

He claimed to have been running for 20-30 minutes and that out of fear, he had gone to hide in the home.

Paul Fleming, defending, said: “He (Akram) didn’t want to cause the couple any distress or concern.

“He wants to give the couple peace of mind and re-assurance that they have nothing to fear from him, or from his actions that night.

“He is acutely aware of the wrong he has done to this elderly couple.

“He offered no violence and waited until the police came.”

The couple are still troubled by the effects of the break-in and said they do not feel completely safe in their home.

Margaret said: “We are always double checking doors and if there is any slight noise at night time, we turn the TV off to listen.

“It means we will never leave a window open again.”

In passing sentence, Judge Beverley Lunt, told Akram, of Saville Place, Leeds: “You got into a home and were bravely challenged by a 77-year-old man.

“You didn’t ask him for any help, nor did you say you were terrified. You rambled on.

“These two elderly victims had done nothing.

“It’s going to be a long long time before they ever feel safe in their own home again.

“There can be no excuse whatsoever for you going into their home”.