The Good Samaritan heard the elderly woman’s screams when Mohammed Nawaz barged his way into her Hall Green home on 26 August.
We believe Nawaz – who has 36 previous offences for burglary, robbery and theft – targeted the pensioner as he suspected she would be home alone.
However, her son was visiting at the time and confronted Nawaz after he’d knocked at the door and forced his way past the woman.
Nawaz squirted a hot chilli sauce and water mix from a washing up liquid bottle at both victims – temporarily blinding the 49-year-old son – before running off empty-handed.
But he was grabbed in the street by a man who’d heard the commotion and walked over to see what was happening.
He was also squirted with the chilli concoction but, aided by other good-spirited passers-by, managed to pin down Nawaz before our officers arrived to arrest him on suspicion of attempted robbery.
We charged him with that offence plus three counts of administering a noxious substance.
And at Birmingham Crown Court on Friday (13 Nov) the 52-year-old, of no fixed address, was jailed for nine years and one month after pleading guilty.
Investigating officer, Detective Constable Arita Chonkria, said: “We believe Nawaz saw the woman as an easy target, someone he could deceive or quickly steal from, but he hadn’t counted on her son being in the house.
“This was a shocking ordeal for the woman and her son but thankfully neither were seriously hurt. And I hope they can take comfort from the fact the offender has been jailed for several years.
“I also want to thank the man who tackled Nawaz as he tried running off. It’s really appreciated – thank you and we’ll be looking to formally recognise his efforts when our force awards scheme gets back up and running post CoVID.”
Nawaz was jailed for a similar offence in 2010 when he broke into a 93-year-old’s home in Sparkhill and again squirted a substance in their face before stealing items.