A HAVE-A-GO hero has been commended by a judge for chasing off would-be robbers who gagged, slapped and tried to tie up an elderly war hero.

Painter and decorator Leslie Fishwick was working on 88-year-old William Glover’s house, but had to pop out briefly.

When he came back, he found Tudor-Florentin Serbana and Grigore Tirban, both aged 36, pinning the ex-RAF man down.

Mr Fishwick chased the men, caught Tirban and, with the help of another man, held him until police arrived.

Yesterday Serbana was jailed for eight-and-a-half years and Tirban for five years and four months at Bolton Crown Court after they admitted assault with intent to rob.

Serbana also admitted attempting to burgle a doctor’s surgery in Bradford Street, The Haulgh, on May 23.

The court heard that Mr Glover was duped by the defendants when they knocked on the door of his Radcliffe Road home on May 28, pretending to ask for someone’s address.

Guy Mathieson, prosecuting, said the men dived through the door, pushing Mr Glover on to his sofa, covered his mouth and slapped him across the face when he tried to speak.

One man held him down while the other tried to tie his legs with pieces of ripped up clothes.

Mr Glover, now aged 89, said in a statement to the court: “I was victimised because of my age. I fear they might attack me again.”

Stuart McCracken, defending Tirban, a Romanian, of Bradford Street, The Haulgh, said he had moved from Spain to Bolton in the hope of getting construction work, but it never materialised.

Nick Ross, defending Serbana, of no fixed address, said he was ashamed he had blackened the reputation of hard-working Romanian people.

Judge Peter Davies told them: “Mr Glover was of an age to be called for active service to help his country in the Second World War. He is 89 and entitled to spend the autumn of his years in peace.

“Thankfully Mr Fishwick, who should be commended, came across the scene.”