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Mother and daughter wrestle with violent burglar with £2,700 'bulging' in his pockets

PUBLISHED: 00:00 08 November 2019 | UPDATED: 08:42 08 November 2019

Anthony Millward tried to steal £2,500 from K's Diner in Wells   Pictures: Abigail Nicholson

Anthony Millward tried to steal £2,500 from K's Diner in Wells Pictures: Abigail Nicholson

Archant

A courageous mother and daughter wrestled with a violent burglar who was trying to smuggle more than £2,700 out of their coastal cafe in his "bulging" pockets.

Anthony Millward was caught when customers helped the owner of K's Diner at Wells and her daughter restrain the thief, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Millward, 54, was seen with his pockets bulging with cash after the owner spotted him in the back office of the diner on Sunday, June 30.

Marc Brown, prosecuting, said the cafe owner grabbed hold of Millward after spotting him but fell back into the fridge after being hit by him. But she managed to keep hold of Millward's pockets in attempting to stop him from getting away.

She screamed out and her daughter came in to help restrain Millward, who hit both women in the struggle.

Mr Brown said another member of staff heard the commotion and came to help, as did other customers who all stopped him from getting away.

He later told police: "I did it, I stole the money."

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About £2,700 in notes and more than £76 in coins was later discovered in the area following the incident.

Mr Brown said both victims received injuries including a sore hip and soreness where they had been punched.

Millward, formerly of Bournemouth but whose address held by the court is Hampstead, London, appeared in court on Thursday (November 7) having previously admitted one count of theft and two counts of assault.

The court heard he had 53 previous convictions for 116 offences, including a theft in Cornwall while on bail for these offences.

Judge Stephen Holt said he would be failing in his public duty to small businesses who were "plagued" with this sort of offending, if he did not impose an immediate jail sentence.

Jailing Millward for a total of 48 weeks, he said the defendant had acknowledged in a letter to the judge the "terrible ordeal" he had put the cafe owner and her daughter through.

John Morgans, mitigating, said it was "impossible to ignore" his previous convictions but insisted the gap in his offending, essentially since 2014, was significant.

He said Millward was undergoing treatment, including radiotherapy, but could not explain why he had done what he did.

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