AN HEROIC pensioner is to receive a police award after trapping a dangerous escaped prisoner in his home.
Ian Donald, 84, from Saltney, had opened the door to Stephen George Lloyd, on the run from Kirkham Open Prison, where he was serving an indeterminate sentence for attempted robbery.
“This guy came in and I thought as soon as I’d done it, I thought ‘Ian, what have you done?’” recalled the widower.
The great-grandfather continued: “I thought, a lot of people think elderly people are a bit senile, so I thought I’d better crack on as if I am.”
Chuckling as he recalled his actions, the retired driving instructor added: “He came in and I offered him a cup of tea! And in the end he said I’m going to go upstairs. And he said ‘where’s your phone’, I said ‘it’s there’ and he said ‘because I don’t want you phoning the police!’.”
But Mr Donald, who suffers from a serious lung condition, said the unwelcome visitor failed to notice a mobile phone on the side.
When he was certain the intruder was upstairs he locked the back door, rang 999 and retreated to his next-door neighbour’s house.
Unknown to Mr Donald, police were already in pursuit of Lloyd and turned up just a couple of minutes later.
“When I was next door I heard him smashing the back pane of glass in,” added Mr Donald. “He wouldn’t go out the front because the police were after him.”
By the time police arrived Lloyd had smashed his way out and later the same day robbed cleaner William Saunders, 50, at LA Fitness gym in Chester but was finally tracked down at a house in Shotton.
He was jailed for five years at Chester Crown Court after admitting absconding from prison, burglary and robbery.
Mr Donald, who identified the suspect from a picture, was reluctant to attend the commendation ceremony because he doesn’t like the limelight but has now agreed after his son said he would accompany him.
Because Lloyd was already subject to an indeterminate sentence he will only be released when the parole board consider it safe to do so.
Hero pensioner praises new Hospital at Home scheme – see page 26.