Is handbag heroine Ann’s gran slam too good to be true?

10 Feb

I should have been gasping with envy after gritty granny Ann Timson’s incredible bravery in seeing off six would-be jewel thieves with her mighty handbag.

But while the 71-year-old Northampton pensioner’s amazing bravery grabbed headlines all around the world, Grumpy Old Gran is not entirely convinced that Thumpy Old Gran’s heroism was for real.

I’ma few years younger than she is – but wouldn’t have dared to have laid into those yobs in the way Ann did. Not likely. I mean, a heart condition, Parkinson’s Disease and an arthritic back are hardly suitable weapons for nailing delinquents.

It’s just that something about the all-too-clear video of the action didn’t run true. It was simply too coincidental that a camera should capture virtually every moment from the perfect vantage point.

Unlike the normal hazy CCTV images, we saw every moment that mattered in perfect focus – from the thugs sledging at the jewellers’ window and the animated manager leaping frenetically about in the entrance of the shop as the blinds came down, to Ann entering stage right, standing out in her bright red coat, jogging across the road and unhesitatingly performing a solo bag bash on the would-be robbers.

Even the passers-by looked more like film extras as they stood, virtually motionless, watching the one-woman windmill whirl reduce the gold-digging gang to a fleeing flock of frightened fools.

It was all so clinical. Like a scene from a movie. And not a sliver of resistance as the six young villains ran for their lives from a little old lady. Had it been April 1st I would have dismissed is an obvious attempt to fool the public. The subsequent interviews with the shop manager and his staff also seemed too smooth – their eloquence smacking of professional actors articulating a prepared script rather than shocked employees.

Now I am not saying any of it WAS an act. In fact, reports that most of the villains of the piece are facing criminal charges is surely conclusive evidence that Ann’s intervention was all a genuine instance of heroism in the face of real danger.

By all accounts the former market trader has spent ten years challenging violent criminals on the estate where she lives.

According to the Daily Mail, her neighbourhood, once notorious for its lawlessness, used to be rife with drug dealers, pimps and prostitutes. But Ann, it is claimed, helped turn the Spring Boroughs estate in Northampton from a ‘violent crack den into a thriving community’.

So why on earth am I so reluctant to concede that this was a very special event until a court actually convicts the gang of the offences we all saw?

Even then, no one will convince me this was not a staged reconstruction of what actually happened, rather than the real thing.

I mean, if it wasn’t a set-up, why was the camera there in the first place? It didn’t exactly look like a street full of potential action, did it?

If what we saw was the action as it truly happened, Ann is a fantastic lady – reconstruction or not.

There is no doubt she has struck a mighty blow for the credibility of a section of society that is largely invisible to Britain’s movers and shakers.

I just hope we are not going to see her reduced from a thoroughbred grey with a special pedigree to an also-Gran who was not really at the race.

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5 Responses to “Is handbag heroine Ann’s gran slam too good to be true?”

  1. STEVE HOLMES February 10, 2011 at 2:31 pm #

    Maybe I am too much an optimist as I believe there is a bigger share of society that would also react like this, for one, I think and hope I would.

  2. Nosoyabuela February 10, 2011 at 6:26 pm #

    My first thought was, why is she risking her life to help a jewellery shop? If someone was getting mugged in the street and she stepped in I would admire her courage, but these guys are insured up to their eyeballs!

    Now having read your post, I share your suspicions that it was just a set-up.

    • Cheshire Chick February 11, 2011 at 2:48 am #

      My reaction was one of amazement……I couldn’t believe that an old lady would be left to tackle those youths with absolutely no intervention from any passers by.
      My opinion is that (if genuine) she is an admirable but stupid lady.
      When a shop in which I once worked was robbed and I gave chase – in a feeble attempt to retrieve the stock!- I was told, in no uncertain terms, by the police that I had acted incorrectly. I should have stayed well away and not put myself in danger……I rest my case…..

  3. fiona holmes February 12, 2011 at 5:08 pm #

    I beg to differ Donna, I think you are being unfair to Ann.
    She said she thought a gang of lads had set upon one person
    when she ran to help.
    I would hope there are more people like her in this world.
    and we should applaud her not doubt her

  4. Christina Plinston February 17, 2011 at 5:34 pm #

    Having read your theory I feel totally bemused now!! I honestly never had any doubt as to its authenticity and assumed wrongly or rightly that it was filmed on someone’s mobile phone. As far as I am aware none of the media mentioned by whom or how the event was filmed. I would just like to add that I witnessed a young man being set upon many years ago and attempted to intervene but was dragged away by the friends I was with. In this type of incident I am not sure what I would have done. In my mind and if I am honest, I still think she was a have ago heroine.

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