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How this woman helped catch her violent burglar

Cosmopolitan (UK) logo Cosmopolitan (UK) 08/11/2017 Catriona Harvey-Jenner

The clever thing this woman did to help police catch the man who beat her and burgled her house © Hearst Communications, Inc. All rights reserved The clever thing this woman did to help police catch the man who beat her and burgled her house Most people's natural reaction if a burglar were to break in and start violently attacking you would be to freeze in fear. But not Annie-Laure Promonet, whose quick thinking and subsequent action resulted in the police managing to trace the man who broke in, beat her, and tried to steal her laptop. 

Annie-Laure returned to her home in Watford, Hertfordshire in July this year to discover an intruder in her house, reports the BBC. Realising he was attempting to steal from her, Annie-Laure used all her efforts to stop him, however the burglar began beating her with a wine bottle, leaving her with a head injury as well as bruises all over her body.

Unable to see his face properly but not deterred from trying to stop the man, Annie-Laure thought quickly and scratched him - while still holding on to her laptop - in an attempt to capture some of his DNA. The intruder ran off, leaving the laptop but grabbing a key to her flat instead as he went.

Annie-Laure immediately phoned police and made sure not to wash her hands in an effort to preserve any potential DNA she had gathered. And sure enough, police were able to detect DNA underneath her fingernails which they used to determine the identity of the intruder.

a close up of a hand © Provided by National magazine company ltd (Hearst UK) 40-year-old Marvyn Mulvey was arrested by police shortly after their brief detective work revealed him as the culprit. He later admitted burglary and assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and was jailed for seven and a half years at St Albans Crown Court on Friday, reports the BBC.

And the judge in the case made special mention of the "very cool head" Annie-Laure had kept during the scary incident. "She did what was was necessary to bring this defendant to justice and showed enormous bravery in preventing him escaping from her flat," Judge Graham Arran said.

Speaking after the court hearing, Annie-Laure described what had gone through her mind during the burglary: "I thought I had to see his face, see if I could get his DNA, while all the time trying to memorise the clothes he was wearing.

"I didn't have time to panic. Maybe if I'd had a few more seconds then I would have realised it was a dangerous thing to do."

As a result of her bravery, Annie-Laure will be given an award of £350 from of public funds - and she's even received an apology from Mulvey. "What I have put her though, no-one should have to go through," he wrote to the judge.

It certainly pays to be brave.

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