Brave man foils mugger

By Stephen Ivall

A 63-YEAR-OLD Penryn man almost floored a would-be mugger in the town's main street this week – and foiled the theft of a large amount of cash.

The efforts of Italian born Georgio Biagini prevented a thief making off with a plastic bag containing "many thousands of pounds" belonging to Evans Cash and Carry which was being taken to the bank by a woman employee.

But the incident has shown again that large sums of cash are still carried by hand to banks by employees without proper security.

A police officer said Mr Biagini's action was "an exceptional display of bravery", but he questioned why in this day of modern banking such large sums of cash are carried about.

Have-a-go Mr Biagini was outside the Post Office when he spotted "something going on" outside Barclays Bank, 70 yards away and on the other side of the street.

"I could hear a woman crying and something going on," he said. "I thought it was a domestic row to begin with."

But Mr Biagini, who lives in Western Terrace, soon found otherwise and sprinted to the bank where he spotted the man running away and disappearing down St Gluvias Street.

"I went round the corner and there was a parked car but no man. I just stood there wondering where he had gone. I then saw a gate open and he appeared. I knew it was him because he was carrying the plastic bag he took from the woman. I recognised it because of the red writing,"

Mr Biagini added: "I thought, 'got you'. I wandered slowly towards him. I did not want to give myself away. He then realised something was wrong and went to go back inside. I rushed forward, pushed the gate aside knocking another man down and grabbed the man. I grabbed the bag with the money and as he struggled he slipped out of his coat. His glasses fell off and then he ran off."

Mr Biagini said he was surprised no one came to his aid. There was a group of people gathering and they just looked on.

A fit 63, Mr Biagini said he did not let the assailant go without a reminder of his attempt to stop him but he had the money and the man's coat and glasses.

He then handed the money back to the woman and later gave a statement to the police. Throughout the incident, Mr Biagini's wife Annette was waiting for him in the car in a car park, not knowing what was going on. "It was some time later when he told me. When we stopped at the police station," she said.

Mr Rab Peck, Managing director of Evans Cash and Carry, Penryn, praised the efforts of Mr Biagini.

"I am writing to him personally to thank him," he said. "What he did was an extremely public spirited thing to do. He did not stop to think of the danger."

Mr Peck said his employee was very distressed by what had happened.

He would not confirm how much was in the bag but said: "It was a considerable sum."

Later a man was helping police with their enquiries.

Nightclub to re-open

SHADES Nightclub in Falmouth should re-open for business next month.

The club is expected to be operated by Terry Brown, who has been working at the club for several years and took over the licence when the club closed suddenly before Christmas.

Shades was run by Paul Lightfoot who also operated Secrets in Truro.

Secrets closed at the same time but re-opened soon afterwards under new management while Shades remained closed.

Since the shock closure of Shades it has meant Falmouth has had only one nightclub although plans for another on The Moor are in the pipeline. That in turn has led to crowd problems.

A creditors' meeting was being held yesterday in Exeter following the closure of the club by Mr Lightfoot in November.

Travellers hit back at unfair criticism

THE New Age Travellers parked in a lay-by near Ponsanooth have hit back at criticisms of their lifestyle and of accusations made locally that they are causing trouble.

The site where the motto is "If trapped in a corner fight like hell" has about 14 or 15 vehicles parked there at present and there has been considerable anguish among local residents who want them gone.

The latest criticism of the travellers came at the recent St Gluvias parish council meeting when members who have been trying to close the site down for the past two years requested urgent action of the county council.

They now want a meeting by February 15 or plan to turn up at county hall and demand a hearing.

But this week two of the travellers said they felt they had the right to reply to the allegations made against them and their families.

One known as Pete told the Packet that he was just one member at the site who felt he had a civil right to defend himself and maybe even a legal right.

The media had tarred all travellers with the same brush for far too long and created an unfair image of them, he said.

They were said to be lying, thieving cheating, lazy, violent, dirty people.

"We are not. We are people who are making our own homes. We do not want great big mortgages," he said.