A SOUTHAMPTON pensioner was pinned against railings and cruelly mugged by a gang of men who he initially thought were trying to be friendly.
Les Bazell, 83, pictured, was attacked by three men who rifled through his pockets and stole £80 as he was about to walk across Northam Bridge.
The grandad of six was on his way to pay for repair work on his car after it had gone in for repairs.
As he was about to walk on to the bridge at around 2.30pm on Tuesday, he said he was approached by the men, one of whom put up what he thought was a “friendly hand”.
Mr Bazell, from Bitterne, said: “I thought they were just being friendly, so I put my hand up.
“The next thing I knew I was bundled up against the railings, and they went through my pockets and that was it.
“It just happened so quickly.”
He said the men ran off in the direction of the city centre.
Mr Bazell said he was unable to get a good glimpse of the men, although he said all three were in their late teens or early twenties, white and spoke with eastern European accents.
One was wearing a red and white shirt, although Mr Bazell does not think it was a football shirt.
Speaking about his ordeal, Mr Bazell, a former kerb-layer at Eastleigh Borough Council, said: “It was a bit of a shock that it happened in broad daylight.
He added he had not been physically harmed in any way.
The robbery came just days after Mr Bazell celebrated his golden wedding anniversary with wife Anita last week.
The 76-year-old said: “I think it’s absolutely disgusting, you never expect to be robbed at any time, but especially not in broad daylight.
“He said after it happened that if he was quicker he would have chased them.
“I hope the police catch them, they could do the same to somebody else.”
A spokesman for Hampshire Police said they were appealing for witnesses to the robbery: “Anyone with information or who recognises who did this should contact us on 101.”