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Train buff, 85, and his wife sat on a burglar who tried to steal his model railway collection

STOPPED IN HIS TRACKS

John Headington and missus Susan, 57, then waited ten minutes for police at their cottage near Spalding, Lincs, at 1am

A TRAIN buff aged 85 and his wife sat on a burglar who tried to steal his model railway collection.

John Headington and missus Susan, 57, then waited ten minutes for police.

Drunk Robert Barnes, 28, had used a brick to batter through the kitchen door of their rural cottage near Spalding, Lincs, at 1am.

Ex-railway worker John, who has had two hip replacements, got Barnes in a bear hug as he emerged from a room carrying some of his most valuable models. John joked: “We were really getting to know each other.”

Barnes bundled him back against the landing wall and ripped a phone from Susan, who was calling cops.

Prosecutor Andrew Scott told Lincoln crown court: “But he fell and rolled on to the floor. Mrs Headington sat on Barnes and was joined by her husband, who had blood on his arm.

“Four of the engines were valued at £500 and five of the carriages at £200.

“The engines were of particular sentimental value as they were models of trains Mr Headington worked on as a young lad.”

He said John had been left “heartbroken” after an expert told him some parts can not be replaced for the trains damaged in the struggle.

Barnes, who had a metal butter knife in a jacket pocket, told police he was homeless, had downed a litre of vodka and whisky and remembered nothing. He admitted burglary and possessing a blade and was jailed for two years and four months.

Judge Simon Hirst told him: “Mr and Mrs Headington must have been terrified. They have behaved with remarkable bravery.”

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