Pensioner attacked as girls try to steal her dog

Janet Brown, with her beloved dog Socks. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Janet Brown, with her beloved dog Socks. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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A GREAT-grandmother suffering from Alzheimer’s disease is terrified to leave her home – after being attacked by two teenage girls who tried to steal her dog.

Janet Brown was punched in the face by one of the thugs after they tried to make off with her beloved shih tzu, Socks.

The 65-year-old’s family bought her the one-year-old pet in a bid to keep her active as she battles the degenerative condition.

But her outraged son George said that the pensioner was now “back to square one” following her ordeal in Wester Hailes.

George stormed: “The whole thing is completely shocking.”

The sickening spectacle unfolded at around 4.25pm on Tuesday. Mrs Brown was approached by the girls who tried to snatch the tiny dog.

But bravely she held on to the lead – even after one of them punched the pensioner.

Her worried family have now rallied around her to ensure the shocking incident does not leave the widowed mother-of seven trapped in her home.

George, 43, a barman at the Artful Dodger pub in Calder Road, added: “My mum was taking the dog out for a walk around the block in Murrayburn Place where she lives. She was walking past the play park next to it and these two teenage girls, who were walking along laughing, came up to her.

“One of them tried to grab the dog’s lead and pull it away. My mum wouldn’t let go off the lead. She held it tight and then the other girl punched her once in the face.

“She was really shocked and it was painful but she held on to the dog lead. I think they were trying to steal the dog. They never said anything, they were just laughing the whole time. After mum was punched they just laughed again and ran off.

“She came home and phoned my brother. He called me and I ran up to the house. Mum was hysterical. I was really angry and wanted mum to come back outside to see if she could identify them but she was upset.

“She had quite a bad black eye and was shaken up. She’s going back to the doctor about it because it’s still sore.”

As well as her three sons and four daughters, retired shop assistant Mrs Brown has seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Her husband George died two years ago, aged 75, after a long battle with cancer.

The family was dealt another devastating blow when doctors confirmed that Mrs Brown was suffering from Alzheimer’s.

George said: “My mum was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s a couple of months ago and now this attack has left her scared to leave the house on her own. My niece had to take her to the shops when she did want to go out. My sister got her the dog a month ago to try to engage her brain and keep her active.

“It was working well and it was getting her out of the house, but now we feel like we’re back to square one.

“The Alzheimer’s is in the early stage but it’s still having an effect on her. My dad died two years ago and that had a devastating impact on her. She nursed him for three years until he died.

“She’s got a big family, who are all very close, so she’ll always get the help and support but this was a horrible thing to happen to her. We’re not going to let her become trapped in the house.”

The two attackers have been described as white, in their late teens, around 5ft 1in tall with slim builds.

One had dark hair and wore a pink long-sleeved top while the other had dyed red hair.

Mrs Brown’s son Mark, 42, who is also a barman, said: “It’s totally disgusting what happened to mum. What kind of people could do that to a pensioner? You don’t know what some young people are thinking nowadays. I’m just thankful mum wasn’t badly hurt. It could’ve been a lot worse.

The teenage tearaways were today branded “totally disgusting” by police, who want witnesses to come forward.

Inspector Stevie Dolan said: “Anyone who was in or around Murrayburn Place on Tuesday afternoon is asked to contact police immediately.”