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71-year-old woman fights off intruder in Dagenham

Mrs Parish takes self-defence classes 

A 71-year-old woman from Dagenham has fought off a violent intruder after he attacked her and demanded money. 

Kaye Parish answered her door to a man claiming to be from a local college last week. He was pretending to be handing out free hand sanitisers to vulnerable residents. 

The suspect was wearing an orange hi vis vest and boiler suit, surgical mask, blue surgical gloves, sunglasses and carrying a fake ID. 

As Mrs Parish took the hand sanitisers and placed them on her hallway table, the man asked about the photo that was on the table and she explained it was a photo of her husband.

The man jumped her as she was putting the picture back and pushed her into the hallway. He forced her up against a wall and asked for money. 

Mrs Parish told him she did not have any cash and punched him in the side of the head twice. The attacker then turned and ran away. 

“I was really scared, but despite this my training took over and I just reacted,” Mrs Parish said.

The 71-year-old regularly attended Barking and Dagenham Council’s  ‘Young at Heart’ self-defence classes. 

“It is really important that we all keep active especially during the lockdown and the council’s healthy lifestyle service has a number of programmes on offer,” said Councillor Sade Bright.

“Even with the restrictions in place, there are a number of ways to keep safe and healthy at home and residents can find out about the range of activities on offer from the council on our website.

“It’s great to hear that Kay was able to protect herself due to the training that she was given and I’m very proud of her.”

Police are investigating the incident. 

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM

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