Harborough beautician punched trying to stop suspected thief

Business owner Helen Walker shows off her injuries after being attacked by a violent robber after she decided to stand up to him in her salon.'PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-181128-092905005
Business owner Helen Walker shows off her injuries after being attacked by a violent robber after she decided to stand up to him in her salon.'PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-181128-092905005

Brave beautician Helen Walker fought with a male intruder who sneaked into her shop at lunch time in the centre of Market Harborough.

Mum-of-two Helen (56) was punched to the floor by the man, who she confronted in her salon, The Beauty Lounge, on The Square, Market Harborough.

But Helen, who lives in the town, told the Mail: “My only regret is that I didn’t detain him. I’m angry with myself that he got away.”

The incident happened at about 1.10pm on Tuesday, November 20, at the salon, which has an entrance between the PDSA charity shop and estate agents Cooper Estates.

Helen said: “I’d just been out to get my lunch, and went into the back to heat it up, leaving my bag in reception and my purse next to it.

“I’d been gone for literally a minute, and when I came back, there was a man standing next to my bag. I said ‘what are you doing?’, and he said “I wanna haircut’.”

A suspicious Helen found out that the man had no money for a haircut, but “just wanted to know how much it cost”.

“I’d had my mobile phones stolen from the shop just the week before” said Helen. “I thought he might have already taken money from my purse, and I just said ‘you are not stealing from me’.”

Helen had now trapped the man in her salon, and when he tried to push his way out, she pushed him back.

“He got out the door, and I grabbed him and tried to stop him from going. We fought, he punched me in the eye, and I went to the ground. I tried to grab his trouser leg and I was screaming for staff in the other businesses here to come through. All I was thinking was I had money in my purse that I’ve worked hard for and I needed to get my money back.”

The man ran out of the salon, along St Mary’s Road and up Adam and Eve Street. He is described as of mixed race, 5ft 5in tall with dreadlock-style hair and rotten teeth. He was wearing a hoodie with a grey, parka coat over the top.

A shaken Helen returned to her reception desk, and found that she had interrupted the intruder just in time – nothing had been stolen.

She has now installed a lock on her salon door, so customers wanting treatments have to press a buzzer to get in.

And would she tackle an intruder again? “Yes, and I hope I hurt him as much as he hurt me.”