'You're the most hopeless criminal I've ever met': Kidnap victim gives captor a piece of her mind before escaping after 10 minutesJanice, 64, was snatched from her home Lymington, New Forest, Hants, by a male armed robber But he took her back home after admitting the kidnapping wasn't going wellRobber apologised before fleeing with her car and 100 in cash



14:35 GMT, 23 December 2012

A pensioner kidnapped at gunpoint was released just ten minutes later after telling her attacker he was the “most hopeless criminal” she had ever met.

The retired nurse – known only as Janice, 64, – was snatched from her home by a robber dressed bizarrely in swimming goggles and a high-vis jacket.

He forced her into the passenger seat of her Peugeot 207 and took her on an erratic drive around her home town of Lymington, New Forest, Hants.

Crime scene: The pensioner known only as Janice was kidnapped from her home in Lymington in the New Forest

Crime scene: The pensioner known only as Janice was kidnapped from her home in Lymington in the New Forest

The crazed intruder demanded money and threatened to shoot his terrified victim during the ten minute trip, she revealed today.

But he later apologised, saying he was a desperately poor father who needed money – and even sobbed about his failed business.

Janice today revealed he fled in her car with just 100 after she put a comforting arm around him and persuaded him to drop her back home.

The motor was discovered a short while later abandoned nearby.

The kidnapper snatched his victim at random from the driveway of her home as she was on the way to the hairdressers.

She said: 'It didn’t take me long to realise he had a gun against my head. I told him: “Look, I don’t have time for this – I’ve got a busy day with lots to do”. I was so angry.'

The gunman marched her inside and ordered Janice and her husband, 70, to sit next to each other.

Janice continued: 'He said he didn’t want to do what he was doing, that he had a wife and small baby daughter. I began talking to him.

'I asked him how he got into this – telling him he clearly wasn’t a criminal – and then at one point I even got up and put my arm around him.

'I told him I felt so sorry for him adding: “You’ve got yourself into a terrible situation”.'

The attack was the second to happen in the New Forest in just nine days

The attack was the second to happen in the New Forest in just nine days

Janice described how she and her husband argued over who should be the hostage while the gunman stood waving his arms around.

She added: 'I said to him: “This is totally rubbish – you call yourself a criminal You are the worst criminal I have ever encountered”. He just took it.'

The gunman then threatened to shoot Janice but she told him: '“What’s the point in murdering me An armed robbery is bad enough”.’

'Back on the driveway, I asked him: “So who is going to drive then” and he said “Me”.

'I got into the passenger seat and he got in next to me, wearing his goggles again.

'He spun out of the driveway while I ordered him to put his seatbelt on because the warning alarm was sounding.

'I was telling him to take the goggles off, that he looked silly.'

With no clear plan of what he should do next, Janice began laying in to him again – criticising the mistakes he had made and demanding he stop the car.

She said: 'He admitted it was a complete failure and I told him I agreed – that it had gone too far and it had to stop.'

Heeding her advice, the daft gunman drove Janice home but told her he would have to stop and collect his bag because he had left it at her home.

Janice said: 'He’s not a psychopath – he’s a desperate man. I told him: “Just go away. I don’t want to see you again”. Then I wished him a Happy Christmas and off he went in my car.'

The kidnapping on December 14 was the second armed robbery in the New Forest in nine days.

The driver of a Porsche 911 Carrera was kidnapped at gunpoint from Brockenhurst Railway Station and forced to withdraw cash on December 5.

A gunman also raided a post office eight miles away in Highcliffe, Dorset, on Tuesday.

Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Murray, from Hampshire Constabulary, said: 'We believe this man lives locally.

'He is someone whose life has fallen down around him and is facing exceptionally hard times. He has told his victims he lost his business and he has a wife and kids.'

Two men, aged 48 and 44, have been arrested in connection with the offences and released on bail.
A third man, 44, remains in police custody.