Brave Nelson pub landlady stops heroin addict making off with takings

terry brown
terry brown

A PLUCKY pub landlady confronted and chased a hooded late-night raider trying to steal the takings, demanded he hand the cash back and then grabbed it, a court was told.

Sarah Matthews had been assaulted by heroin addict and prolific crook Terence Brown after she found him in her living quarters and tried to stop him escaping with the money. But she still didn’t give up and got back her £525 before he climbed out of a window at the Prince of Wales in Leeds Road, Nelson, Burnley Crown Court heard.

Brown, who should have been obeying a night-time curfew, had been having a celebration drink or two. He had not been sent to jail when he appeared in court earlier in the day, even though he was on a suspended prison term. He had tried to get out of the pub by jumping through a window when challenged, but it was double glazed and he bounced off.

The hearing was told the defendant, who has almost 90 convictions, was arrested after leaving blood on the money bag and his fingerprints were found on the window in Miss Matthews’s bathroom.

Brown (36), of Kendal Street, Nelson, admitted burglary in the living quarters of the pub and this time he was sent to custody for 29 months and six weeks.

Mr Stephen Parker (prosecuting) told the court Brown had been given six weeks in custody, suspended for a year by magistrates, three months before the burglary.

Miss Matthews, who had been landlady at the Prince of Wales for two years, lived upstairs. She locked up the pub at 10-30 p.m., returned with a takeaway at 11 p.m., secured the premises and went up to her bedroom.

Also in the room with her were her two dogs, which began to bark and she went downstairs into the pub to check the CCTV, but nothing caused her concern. She went back to bed, but her dogs started to bark again. The victim went out onto the landing and saw a man with his hood up, moving away from where she kept the cash drawer, with a money bag in his hand.

Mr Parker said the defendant went downstairs, Miss Matthews ran after him, managed to pass him and to stop him at the bottom of the stairs. She told him: “I just want my money back.” Brown pushed Miss Matthews in the chest, knocking her backwards into a wall. He ran into the lounge, appeared as if he was trying to jump though the window, hit it and stood back. Miss Matthews approached the defendant and told him: “All I want is my money back.” Brown told her she could have it back and she then lent towards him, grabbed the cash and he climbed out of a window, facing her, legs first.

The prosecutor said blood from the bag Miss Matthews recovered, blood on her hand and fingerprints led police to the defendant. He was arrested and denied the offence. He told officers he had had seven or eight cans of lager, had been in court that very morning, but was not responsible for the burglary.

Mr Richard Taylor (defending) said Brown was realistic about what would happen to him. He had abused heroin since he was 19 and had made various attempts to come off the drug.

He said the victim was not injured. He continued: “It appears she was more than a match for this defendant. He is anxious to let you know he has spent his time in custody usefully and has signed up for the victim awareness course.”