12:41pm Thursday 31st May 2012
By James Pepper
A have-a-go hero pensioner wrestled with a man half his age after he was attacked in the street.
Terence Hayden, 72, was walking home from Tesco, on Oldfield Road, Sutton, last September when Garry Hussey, 29, pounced.
But the pensioner, fearing he was going to be robbed, defended himself.
Mr Hayden, a former warehouse worker, managed to land a punch on his assailant, and after realising he was fighting a losing battle, thug Hussey fled the scene.
Carrying a box of eggs, ham, soup and a newspaper, he saw a man running towards him on Kimpton Road in Sutton.
Mr Hayden said: "He kept shouting at me, 'give me my money, give me my money', I thought he was trying to rob me. This time, he picked on the wrong man.
"If he thought I was going to give him my pension money which I have worked all my life for he's mistaken. Not on your nelly."
Mr Hayden, who suffered a cut lip and bruised leg as a result of the alleged attack, said he was most disappointed about not being able to read his paper as it was covered in egg yolk.
The fearless pensioner said: "I was a bit shaken up afterwards, but at the time, I felt no fear whatsoever.
"Hopefully next time, he will think twice about attacking the elderly - he might just get another surprise."
Neighbours were quick to praise Mr Hayden's bravery, one calling him an "inspiration".
At Hussey's trial at Croydon Crown Court on Thursday (May 24), Mr Hayden gave evidence from behind a screen.
He told the court: "I kept telling him I didn't have his money, but then we were wrestling on the floor."
Hussey was found not guilty of attempted robbery but pleaded guilty to common assault and will be sentenced in June.
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