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Mystery binmen helped bag robber.

Byline: Tom Wells

A teenage bag-snatcher who targeted vulnerable pensioners was finally caught after five have-a-go-heroes gave chase and carried out a citizen's arrest.

Clint Butler (18) had already carried out two burglaries and two other robberies - including steal- ing an infant's bag containing just pounds 3 - on the day he robbed 84- year-old Josephine Pritchard of her shopping bag.

But he reckoned without the angry members of the public who chased him, on foot and by car, and eventually caught him, Bir- mingham Crown Court heard.

Drug addict Butler, of Denby Street, Bordesley Green, was sentenced yesterday to four years in a young offenders' institution after pleading guilty to robbery. The court heard that Mrs Pritchard was attacked in Hol- beach Road, Stechford, in March. Earlier Butler attacked young mother Teresa Burns and taken the bag of her four-year-old daughter Katie, which contained pounds 3.

Andrew Wallace, prosecuting, said Butler was seen robbing Mrs Pritchard by Deanne Adams, who shouted to workmen to give chase.

'Peter James and Daniel Ran- som were digging a hole when they were alerted to Butler steal- ing Mrs Pritchard's shopping bag,' Mr Wallace said.

'They ran the length of Hol- beach Road before losing him, but jumped into their van to search the area. Mrs Adams followed in her car. During the search Mrs Adams stopped to ask two bin- men who jumped into her car and the pursuit continued.'

Butler was finally discovered hiding among wheelie bins by Mr James and Mr Ransom and dragged to their van, where they held him until police arrived.

Recorder Mr Dennis Desmond gave public commendations to Mr James, Mr Ransom and Mrs Adams, but said he regretted the two binmen's names were still unknown. Addressing Butler, he added: 'Even after your arrest you tried to wriggle your way out of trouble.'

Keven Grego, defending, said Butler had a drug history stretch- ing back to when he was 15.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jun 20, 2003
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