Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Saltburn priest robbed

A local Saltburn priest has told of his shock after he was threatened in his home by a thug who stole his car and crashed it in the garden. 72 year old Canon William Madden of Our Lady of Lourdes Presbytery answered the door to a man who pushed his way inside and demanded his wallet and the keys to his car. The Canon handed over £80 from his wallet and the keys to his silver Vauxhall Meriva. The robber jumped in the car and drove it out of the garden before veering back into the presbytery garden through a fence. He then smashed into a wall before crashing into an ornate metal gate. He left the car and fled, but was chased by 18-year-old Malcolm Keeler who was nearby. He and a woman gave chase in her car and spotted the thug near the Watson Ford car dealership around the corner. They cornered the thief in a nearby alleyway and waited for the local police to arrive and arrest the 29 year old male who is being held on charges of burglary. Canon Madden was treated by a nurse after the incident at 6.10pm on Wednesday night but was not seriously injured. He said: “I didn’t suffer any injuries. I was shocked by it though. It has definitely made me more wary.”
Last month Father Derek Turnham, a spokesman for the Roman Catholic Diocese Of Middlesbrough, was also robbed by a crack addict with a 12-inch knife.
Fr Turnham said: “We want to express great relief that Canon Madden is only shaken and unhurt. We are also grateful to all the neighbours and people who rallied round to provide assistance while the police were very swift in reacting.”

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