A PARTIALLY blind and deaf man used his martial arts skill to turn the tables on a teenage mugger who tried to snatch his rent money.

John James, 33, had just withdrawn money from a Lloyds cashpoint machine at Southampton University campus when he was suddenly attacked by a youth riding a bicycle.

Mr James said the teenager approached him from his right where he suffers from partial deafness and blindness.

"As I went to remove the cash, he whipped it out of my hand and tried to cycle off, but I grabbed him about the head and shoulder for about 20-30 seconds before we fell to the ground."

The pair then tussled during which themugger threatened to stab him, before three passers-by came to his aid and he held his assailant in an arm lock. The drama eventually ended with the teenager handing back the cash and riding off in the direction of University Road, shortly before the police arrived.

Mr James, who is unemployed and lives in Burgess Road, Swaythling, said he was shocked at what happened but had since made a good recovery.

He believes he was able to see off the mugger thanks to the training he received learning the self defence martial art of Ninpo.

"If I had not joined the martial course, which I did three years ago, I don't think things would have turned out the way they did."

He then modestly added: "I don't think I'm very good at it but I do my best."

The attacker was white, aged between 16 and 19 and of medium build. He was wearing a black waterproof waist length shiny jacket and black shiny trousers, possibly a tracksuit.

A police spokesman said: "This was an unprovoked attack and we are keen to hear from anyone in the area who can help us identify the youth involved. Fortunately on this occasion he did not escape with any money, much to the efforts of the victim and members of the public who stopped to help."

Anyone with information is asked to call the street robbery investigation team at Hulse Road on 0845 045 4545.