Burglar who broke into retirement flats restrained by former policeman and Judo enthusiast

SWNS Burglary

Don Davies and Joe Osborne. Image: SWNS

Thursday, January 17, 2019

A burglar who broke into retirement flats was restrained by two pensioner residents - a former policeman and a Judo enthusiast, a court has heard.

Fifty-year-old Peter Smith was confronted by former policeman Don Davies, 79, after he broke into flats and began rifling through drawers.

Mr Davies called on fellow resident and Judo expert, Joe Osborne, 76, who tackled the burglar to the floor during the incident in Devon.

Mr Osborne claimed he had secured Mr Smith in a headlock while Mr Davies pinned down his legs and lower body, after chasing the intruder down five flights of stairs.


'Took him out with a quick throw'

The retirement flats in Plymouth. Image: SWNS

“Having done a bit of judo in the past, I took him out with a quick throw," Mr Osborne said. “Within about three seconds of eye contact, he was on the floor.”

Mr Smith is currently on trial at Plymouth Crown Court, after denying three burglaries at the flats.

He also pleaded not guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm on March 12 last year.


Judith Constable, opening the case for the Crown Prosecution Service, said Smith had tried the intercom – buzzing different flats until he was allowed in.

She said that he sneaked into two flats, taking gold jewellery from one flat and a £5 note from another. The jewellery was later found by police in his sock when he was strip-searched.

The barrister said Mr Smith claimed that he had acted in self-defence when he was attacked by three pensioners in the block.

The trial continues.