South Yorkshire grandma with machete and BB gun claimed she was looking for a thief

A vigilante grandma was caught with a machete and a BB gun after she claimed she had been searching for a thief who had stolen her Christmas savings.

Monday, 22nd February 2021, 9:43 am

Jay Brookes, aged 41, of Co-operative Street, Goldthorpe, Rotherham, was found by police outside Arncliffe Veterinary Centre, at the junction of Jackson Street and High Street, in Goldthorpe, with the weapons, according to a Sheffield Crown Court hearing.

Recorder Paul Kirtley told Brookes at the hearing on February 15: “This was a dreadful decision on your part. You cannot, and indeed nobody can, make their way out in public carrying an imitation firearm and a machete.”

Ian Mullarkey, prosecuting, said Brookes was seen outside the veterinary centre and officers found a machete nearby.

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Sheffield Crown Court, pictured, heard how a vigilante grandma armed with a machete and a BB gun claimed she had been searching for a thief who had stolen her Christmas savings.

Mr Mullarkey added police also found a BB gun, which did not work, in the waistband of Brookes’s clothes with pellets in a jacket pocket.

Brookes told police someone had visited her home and stolen money and she had been drinking vodka and had taken the machete and BB gun for protection and had gone looking for him.

The defendant pleaded guilty to possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear or violence and admitted possessing a bladed article after the incident around 1.30am, on November 7, 2020.

Laura Marshall, defending, said: “Anyone who knows this defendant cannot help but be charmed by her. She has an endearing quality to her.”

Ms Marshall added Brookes had been doing everything to pay for Christmas presents for her children and grandchildren including dressing-up for children’s parties and clearing dog mess.

Brookes had been counting her earnings, according to Ms Marshall, but a man she thought she could trust visited her home and took the money.

Ms Marshall said: “In a sober state of mind she would not have dreamed of going out and confronting this man but she was upset because everything she worked for to provide for her children and grandchildren had gone.”

Recorder Paul Kirtley sentenced Brookes to 12 months of custody suspended for 24 months with a Rehabilitation Activty Requirement and a Prohibited Activity Requirement to keep away from the man who allegedly took her money.

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