Gran tells masked armed robber ‘you must be joking’ before throwing him out of her shop

Ann Dalton, right, with business partner Nicola Maddock.
Ann Dalton, right, with business partner Nicola Maddock.
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A grandmother told a knife-wielding masked robber ‘you must be joking’ before throwing him out of her family-run hairdressing salon.

The robber burst into Haircharm on Carlton Lane in Rothwell, last Friday at 1.30pm, brandishing a 10-inch hunting knife and demanding jewellery, phones and cash.

However, he was confronted by Ann Dalton.

She sprang into action to protect her two daughters, Stephanie Dalton and Nicola Maddock, who work at the salon, as well as her three-year-old grandaughter Alexia, hairdresser Susan Ward and two customers.

The 65-year-old, who has had the salon for 44 years, said: “I was doing my daughter’s hair when he came in. He looked ridiculous in his mask. I walked up to him and said ‘you must be joking’ and he repeated his demands.

“With his attention on me, my daughter went into the back room to try and shield my already distressed grandaughter from what was going on. She called the police. He went towards her, so I ran outside to scream for help and he came for me.

“I grabbed his arm, pulled him towards me and threw him outside. The knife ended up in between my breasts pointing upwards towards my chin. But if he’d been holding it differently, it would’ve gone straight into my chest. My daughters thought it had. He could’ve killed me.”

CCTV showed it all happened in seconds, but she said it felt like a lifetime, adding: “His mask came off and the look of shock on his face showed he wasn’t expecting someone like me. He reminded me of a kid pretending to be a gangster.”

Mrs Dalton said the women have all had trouble sleeping since the incident, which left her grandaughter traumatized.

She said: “She went drip white. Her eyes filled with tears and she was shaking.”

The suspect is described as a thin, mixed race male, 5ft 8ins to 6ft tall, with a black jacket, light-coloured bottoms and a yellow drawstring carrier bag.

Call police on 101.