Pensioner sprayed in face by robber armed with chilli sauce in Fairy bottle

A prolific thief has been jailed after brave passers-by intervened as tried to rob a 90-year-old woman while armed with an old Fairy liquid bottle filled with chilli sauce.

Mohammed Nawaz, 52, barged his way inside the frail pensioner’s home in Hall Green, Birmingham, on August 26. A court heard he targeted the elderly victim believing she would be home alone, but her 49-year-old son was also visiting the property.

Nawaz sprayed them both with the crude concoction – temporarily blinding the son – before fleeing from the house empty-handed.

But a Good Samaritan who heard the woman’s screams leapt into action and grabbed Nawaz as he tried to escape. He was also squirted with the mixture but, aided by other public-spirited passers-by, managed to pin down Nawaz until police officers arrived.

Nawaz, of no fixed address, was jailed for nine years and one month after pleading guilty to attempted robbery and three counts of administering a noxious substance at Birmingham Crown Court.

He has 36 previous convictions for offences including burglary, robbery and theft.

The court heard he was jailed for a similar offence in 2010 after breaking into a 93-year-old’s home and squirting a substance in their face before stealing items.

Detective Constable Arita Chonkria, of West Midlands Police, said after the case: ‘We believe Nawaz saw the woman as an easy target, someone he could deceive or quickly steal from, but he hadn’t counted on her son being in the house.

‘This was a shocking ordeal for the woman and her son but thankfully neither were seriously hurt.

‘And I hope they can take comfort from the fact the offender has been jailed for several years.

‘I also want to thank the man who tackled Nawaz as he tried running off.

‘It’s really appreciated – thank you. We’ll be looking to formally recognise his efforts when our force awards scheme gets back up and running post-Covid.’

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