Judge lauds 85-year-old who took on burglars in Luton

Two men jailed for 14 and 12 years respectively after violently attacking Irish-born pensioner

Cork-born Michael Ring (84) with his granddaughter Emma Price.

Cork-born Michael Ring (84) with his granddaughter Emma Price.


A judge on Friday told a 85-year-old Irish man living in Luton, London, who took on two burglars with a billiard cue that he wished there were more people like him.

Judge Richard Foster said he had “enormous respect” for Michael Ring and his granddaughter who had confronted the two masked men.

He was speaking at Luton Crown Court where he jailed Stephen Simons for 14 years and Roderick McDonald for 12 years after they were convicted of burglary and causing Mr Ring, who is originally from Cork, grievous bodily harm with intent.

The judge said: “Mr Ring put up a fight. He showed bravery in the way he conducted himself that night, and by giving evidence in the trial without special measures [a screen] and by sitting through the trial hearing the defendants tell lies. I wish there were more made of what he is made of.”

Mr Ring suffered fractured discs in his spine, a broken rib, a black eye, cuts to his wrists and bruising on the brain during the attack.

At 5am on August 10th last year, Mr Ring was asleep downstairs when the men broke in through his conservatory. His granddaughter Emma Price was staying with him that night and sleeping upstairs.

He saw McDonald trying to force the door into the living room and rammed the billiard cue into his face. When Simons got through he tried to fend him off in a violent struggle.

He told the jury: “The carpet and armchairs were covered in blood – mine unfortunately.

“I was taken to hospital. I was in a few days. I was in a lot of agony.”

McDonald (52) of Luxembourg Close, Luton and Simons (44) of Brook Street, Luton, appeared for sentence having earlier been convicted of burglary and causing grievous bodily harm with intent. They were cleared of aggravated burglary.

After the case, Detective Constable Jason Wheeler said: “Mr Ring has been very brave throughout this ordeal.

“He stood in the witness box and looked them in the eye. He was not going to let them intimidate him.

“They are two callous offenders who have got their just desserts. Hopefully, they will think about what they put Mr Ring through when they are sitting in their prison cells.”