Brave dad collars drug-addled burglar in Hartlepool home

Rob Gormer
Rob Gormer

A BRAVE dad pinned down a drug-fuelled burglar until the police arrived after catching the crook rifling through his kitchen.

Have-a-go hero Rob Gormer punched burglar Steven Munslow and then dragged him outside while his wife dialled 999.

Munslow, 37, crept into the couple’s Hartlepool home in Welldeck Road, and rifled through cupboards as Rob and wife Mel were putting their two children to bed upstairs.

Royal Navy veteran Rob, 35, sprang into action after they heard noises coming from downstairs and was shocked to find Munslow - who claimed he had taken 80 Valium tablets, heroin and a drank litre of cider - standing in the kitchen.

Rob, a plumber, said: “Mel said ‘Rob there’s a bloke in the kitchen’ and I thought she was joking.

“I started shouting for him to get out of the house thinking he would do a runner, but he didn’t. He turned and faced me.

“I just reacted and hit him and knocked him to the ground.

“I pinned him down in the kitchen and thought I wasn’t having him in my house any longer, so I dragged him out and held on to him until the police arrived.

“He kept saying to me ‘it’s a mistake’. I said ‘too right it’s a mistake, you shouldn’t be in my house’.

“He could have done anything.”

Rob, who served for six years as a diver with the Royal Navy and pumps iron in his spare time, pinned Munslow to the ground until police arrived and arrested him.

He added: “I didn’t give him much of a chance to fight back. My initial reaction was just to overpower him as soon as possible.

“I just couldn’t believe someone was in my house.”

Police discovered Munslow, of Cundall Road, Hartlepool, had stolen housewife Mel’s mobile phone and a tin of rice pudding.

He was jailed for 21 months at Teesside Crown Court yesterday after he admitted the burglary on March 20 and the attempted burglary of a shed a few doors away.

Rob, originally from Cambridge, welcomed the sentence but told how their sons Stephen, nine and William, seven, had been left scared by the burglary.

He and Mel had only moved into their home just over a month earlier from the Headland.

Mel said: “We moved here thinking it would be safer. I was more worried that Rob wold get into trouble for what he did but I think you should be able to protect your family and property.”

Paul Cleasby, mitigating for Munslow, who was on a suspended sentence at the time for growing cannabis, said he made no complaints of Rob’s actions.

Mr Cleasby added: “He was massively under the influence of intoxicants he had taken. He is well aware of the upset he caused and is very sorry for it.”

Judge George Moorhouse told Munslow: “Burglary of a dwelling house is extremely serious. It was at night, the occupants were in, there was a confrontation and they had young children.

“That fully justifies in my view a custodial sentence.”