Hartlepool dad who tracked down thug who robbed pensioner says he is '˜no do-gooder'

A hero dad who tracked down a robber who stole a pensioner's wallet said today he is 'no do-gooder' and only did what any other right thinking member of the public would do.

Thursday, 3rd May 2018, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 3rd May 2018, 7:56 am
Oxford Road in Hartlepool. Copyright Google Maps.

Louis Barnfather saw David Gillies running away and counting cash in a Hartlepool street after the early morning attack.

Seconds later he saw the 86-year-old victim lying on the floor and realised what had happened.

David Gillies

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Mr Barnfather gave chase in his car and managed to track down Gillies a short distance away, where he demanded the cash back off him.

The Good Samaritan also managed to retrieve the victim’s wallet before returning it.

Gillies, who has 99 previous convictions, has since admitted robbery and been sentenced to five years behind bars following a hearing at Teesside Crown Court.

Mr Barnfather, who is part-owner of a building firm, told the Mail he became suspicious when he saw Gillies running in a town street on the morning of November 4.

Teesside Crown Court.

“It was before 8am and I was going up Oxford Road when I saw a lad running,” said Mr Barnfather, 45.

“It didn’t register at the time until I saw an old man on the floor a bit further away.

“I remembered the lad I’d seen was counting money, so I spun the car round and came back down Oxford Road.

“After I parked up on the corner I saw him and stopped him.

“I said ‘give me the money’ and he said ‘what money?’

“But you could see on his face what he had done.

“I got £80 off him and then asked where the wallet was.

“He said ‘what wallet?’ but I found it next to a car.”

Not long after the confrontation Mr Barnfather was able to return the money and wallet to the victim after seeing his address inside the wallet.

“The man was really shook up when I got to his house and was blaming himself because he didn’t have his hearing aid in,” added Mr Barnfather, who is dad to two children.

“He shouldn’t blame himself though because this man is a scumbag and he deserves to go to prison.

“He had this poor man in a right state.”

Judge Stephen Ashurt gave Mr Barnfather a commendation and £250 from public funds in recognition of his quick-thinking actions.

Mr Barnfather said: “It’s nice to hear that from the judge but I’m no do-gooder.

“Anyone would do that if they realised what had gone on.

“I was just in a position where I put two and two together and realised what had happened.

“Instinct took over really and I’m glad the man got his money back.

“We saw each other again when we went to do the identification of the lad who robbed him and as soon as he walked in he shook my hand.”