Grandmother, 87, chases thief with her late husband's military sword

Grandmother, 87, chased thief from her home with her late husband’s military sword after she was struck over head and beaten in violent robbery – as attacker is jailed for 13 years

  • Anastasia Lukianchikova saw Ashley Riley standing at her bedroom door at 3am 
  • Riley used cobblestone to smash front window and broke into her Acton home
  • He hit Mrs Lukianchikova over her head and pulled her nightgown over her face 
  • But ‘stoic, and fit’ Mrs Lukianchikova fought back by hitting him with lamp 
  • He stole  £50,000 of ‘irreplaceable’ jewellry, cash and heirlooms in burglary

An 87-year-old grandmother chased a thief from her home using her late husband’s military sword after she was struck over the head and beaten in a violent robbery.

Anastasia Lukianchikova woke up to the sound of smashed glass at around 3am and saw Ashley Riley, 28, standing at her bedroom door in her Acton, west London, home.

Father-of-two Riley – who used a cobblestone to smash the front window – hit Mrs Lukianchikova over her head, punched her several times, and pulled her nightgown over her face.

But ‘tough, stoic, and fit’ Mrs Lukianchikova fought back by hitting him with a lamp.

Drug-addict Riley smothered Mrs Lukianchikova’s face with a pillow to suffocate her after she cried for help during the 13-minute attack in January 2020 – which left her fearing for her life. 

Anastasia Lukianchikova woke up to the sound of smashed glass at around 3am and saw Ashley Riley, 28, (pictured) standing at her bedroom door in her Acton, west London, home 

He made off with £50,000-worth of ‘irreplaceable’ jewellry, cash and heirlooms in the attack – including priceless earrings Mrs Lukianchikova’s father gave her before her wedding day.

As he headed for the door, Mrs Lukianchikova – who had suffered a fractured spine – chased him with her husband’s military sword before the thief jumped into a taxi.

Riley – who claims he was high at the time and doesn’t remember the attack – was jailed for 13 years on Monday after pleading guilty to robbery and possession of a weapon.

He will be behind bars for eight years and seven months at least – and then will be on licence for a further four years.  

Former cleaner for Waltham Forest council Riley has had a string of convictions for robbery in the past, and chose Mrs Lukianchikova’s home as he thought it was likely to be occupied by an elderly person.

Judge Sarah Paneth told Isleworth Crown Court: ‘There’s no doubt Mrs Lukianchikova was not going to give in easily. 

‘Far from cowering in her room, Mrs Lukianchikova – with immense courage – followed you down the stairs, having armed herself with her husband’s military sword.

Father-of-two Riley – who used a cobblestone to smash the front window – hit Mrs Lukianchikova over her head, punched her several times, and pulled her nightgown over her face, Isleworth Crown Court heard

‘By the time she got there, you were making your way out through the front door.’

‘I have little doubt part of the motivation for this brutal attack was to stop her from shouting for the police.’  

Riley broke in around 3am on January 31, 2020, by using a cobblestone to smash Mrs Lukianchikova’s front window, the Evening Standard reports.

Prosecutor James O’Connell said: ‘One could only imagine what terror must have gone through this lady’s mind. 

‘She recalls the defendant shouting out and striking her on the head, before dragging her and throwing her on to the bed face down.

‘He pulled her nightshirt right over her head, leaving her naked and covering her mouth, causing her to fear she would be the victim of rape. 

‘She put up what fight she could, sliding down on to the floor from the bed to avoid suffocation.’ 

Mrs Lukianchikova tried to fight back by using a lamp – but Riley was able disarm her.

He pushed a pillow down over her face while holding her on the bed. He repeatedly punched her. 

Among the items he stole were pre-war Russian gold rings and bracelets – and earrings Mrs Lukianchikova’s father gave her before her wedding day.

The total value of items stolen was £50,000.  

Mrs Lukianchikova said: ‘I thought I was going to die. I was in pain and total shock, and was actually very concerned for my life.  

‘He began to shout “money, money” and I screamed for help, but this angered him more and he picked up one of the pillows and began to suffocate me in bed.’

She added: ‘I would like the person who did this to me to go to prison for a very long time, as I don’t want him to do it to anyone else.’

Riley – who was caught on camera fleeing her home – attended a pre-planned probation appointment for an older sentence 11 days later and was arrested. 

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