Hero barman struck burglar with wood

Matthew Hughes, 23, Oxcliffe Road,  Morecambe, jailed for three years at PCC for a burglary on June 16 at Heysham's Royal Naval Club

Matthew Hughes, 23, Oxcliffe Road, Morecambe, jailed for three years at PCC for a burglary on June 16 at Heysham's Royal Naval Club

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A HAVE a go hero confronted three burglars with a piece of wood.

Brave barman Nick O’Hara suffered a fractured finger and bruising to his shoulder after bravely challenging intruders in the Royal Naval Club in Heysham, near Lancaster.

Two fled, but unlucky criminal Matthew Hughes, 23, of Oxcliffe Road, Morecambe, met his match with Mr O’Hara, who hit him over the head with a piece of wood.

He managed to grab the thief and pin him down while he called the police.

Hughes, who was on a community order for fraud and dishonesty at the time, wriggled free and injured the barman by throwing a chair.

He was arrested a short time later.

Judge Heather Lloyd, sitting at Preston Crown Court, jailed him for three years, and said: “The two men you were with you will not name, and are still at large. This was not a hare brained scheme, this was a well planned burglary.

“On May 25 you were sentenced for fraud and dishonesty, and just a couple of weeks later you were burgling the club.”

Prosecuting, Paul Cummings said Mr O’Hara returned to the club in the early hours of June 16 after an alarm company alerted him.

He said: “The complainant challenged them, asked them what they were doing, and picked up a piece of wood and shouted for them to get out of the club.”

He described a struggle in which O’Hara hit Hughes and threw him against a door.

He pinned him down as he rang police but Hughes got free and threw a chair at him.

Police found CCTV and an alarm box had been moved. More than £400, lottery tickets, and membership forms with money were stolen.