Retired boxer, 84, tells of punching mugger with knife in the face

AN 84-year-old retired boxer has told of his “instinctive” decision to punch a mugger with a 10-inch knife in the face.

Peter Sandy, who lives in Cherry Hinton, was walking along Colville Road towards Cherry Hinton High Street at about 10.30pm on Wednesday when he was approached by a man who pulled out a “commando style” knife with a curved blade.

“I was going down to the local shops and I was met by this chap who stood in front of and was asking for money in not very nice terms,” said Mr Sandy, who boxed for nine years in his twenties before his eye was gouged out in a fight - doctors had to reattach it.

“Instinctively, I just hit him in the face. There was blood all over his face. He was flat on his back. He came towards me with a knife.”

The mugger picked up his knife before running off towards High Street.

Mr Sandy, who is widowed with five children, said his father took him to a boxing match when he was young and he just “took to it”.

“I am 84 now, I don’t do any more boxing but the instinct never goes. I had quite a lot of fights when I was amateur, then I boxed for the army team which I enjoyed, then I went professional for a bit,” the Colville Road resident said.

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“After the boxing I did a few things - truck driving, for one - I started playing the guitar and the banjo and became a musician. I’ve made a few cds.”

Mr Sandy, who was born in Wisbech but has lived in Cambridge for 15 years, said he still makes music under the guise of Jedediah Sands and regularly plays gigs in France.

Asked if he would be scared of going out now after the attempted mugging, he said: “I have never been scared of anything. I’m not an aggressive man, I just hope the police find him and take him off the streets.”

The would-be robber is described as white, slim, 18 to 20, with short dark hair, and was wearing a light jacket with a dark collar turned up, dark trousers and white trainers.

DC Sam Constable said: “The victim was scared and reacted instinctively and bravely by punching the robber. I would ask anyone who was in the area at the time to consider whether they saw this happen or the mugger leaving the scene.”

Anyone with information should contact DC Constable on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.