Man, 60, fights off samurai sword attacker by striking him over the head with walking stick

An elderly hero stopped a samurai sword attacker by hitting him over the head with his walking stick.

David Fawcett, 60, had gone to a takeaway with his friends Elaine Layton and Tony McConnell just after midnight on Monday when they spotted a man urinating outside.

Mr Fawcett, a former social worker, said: ‘Elaine asked him to stop. He got a bottle of beer and smashed her three times in the hand.

‘I got between them and he ran off saying he was going to get a sword and kill us.

Enlarge   David Fawcett

Fightback: David Fawcett (right) and his friend and carer Tony McConnell who chased the samurai sword attacker after David had defended himself with his walking stick

‘Elaine phoned the police but we didn't really think too much of his threat. Five minutes later he was back with the sword and chased me and Tony into the takeaway.’

Mr Fawcett said he dashed into the shop and tried to shut the door but the man slashed his hand with the sword before swinging the blade wildly above his head and trying to smash the glass door.

When the man tried to force his way into the takeaway in Gateshead, Mr Fawcett took the chance to protect his friends by striking the attacker on the head with his walking stick.

‘I don't think there was anything heroic about it. It was terrifying. I was shaking after but I had to protect my friends. When I saw they were going for Elaine, I had to do something.’

After a police chase, the man was caught and arrested nearby.

Ms Layton, 26, was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital along with Mr Fawcett, who needed stitches for the deep gash to his hand.

Elaine said: ‘Every time I close my eyes I see his face. I'm still shaking now and I've been sick since it happened, it's really affected me.'

Mr McConnell, also David's carer, said he gave chase when the man tried to flee.

The 22-year-old DJ said: ‘I was throwing up and my adrenalin was on a high. I keep going over what happened in my head.’

A Northumbria Police spokesman said: ‘After a short chase the offender was arrested nearby after abandoning the sword which was later located.

‘The offender received hospital treatment for a head injury prior to being brought into custody.’ He added that a 30-year-old man had been arrested in connection with the incident.

The manager of the takeaway praised Mr Fawcett for saving the lives of everyone in the restaurant.

Ali Cheranghi, 32, said he tried to get around 10 people who were in the store behind the counter to protect them.

He said: ‘The man was swinging the sword wildly. If he had hit someone it would have cut them in two.

‘We were all terrified and shaking. He kept lifting the sword over his head and slashing down against the glass, but it wouldn't crack.

‘If it wasn't for the gentleman with the walking stick, things could have been so much worse.’

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