A PLUCKY 91-year-old stroke survivor who is just 5ft 1ins tall has spoken of the moment she jumped on the back of a fraudster.

Eva Gentzsch-Clark was knocked over by the conman after she refused to let him enter her home in Walton Road, Clacton.

The man claimed to be from the water board and asked to read her meter, but Mrs Gentzsch-Clark had refused to let him in.

The great-grandmother-of-three, who suffered a stroke in November last year, had asked him for identification but he handed over a fake letter.

“The letter didn’t look right and I said the piece of paper didn’t mean anything,” said the former secretary.

“We had an argument about him coming in and I said ‘No’.

“But he gave the door a push and the door pushed me back and knocked me over. I fell into the radiator.

“He went into the bedroom and was looking through the chest of drawers, where I usually keep my handbag.

“I jumped at him and pushed him over. I then fell over but I kept hold of him until he pushed me off. We had a struggle and he rushed out saying he would come back the next day.

“I said something like ‘You do that’. It all happened so fast. I wasn’t hurt, but I was so worked up I could hardly breathe, my heart was beating so fast. It’s still with me now.”

It is believed the thief made off empty-handed.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

Modest Mrs Gentzsch-Clark said she was surprised by her own brave actions.

“You don’t know what you will do in that situation until you are in it,” she said.

She said "instinct" kicked in when she saw the hooded "idiot" reaching into her chest of drawers for her brand-new £129 handbag.

The feisty great-grandmother told of how she grabbed him by the neck and brought him toppling down in her bedroom.

When he got up and bizarrely continued to claim he was a water meter inspector she ordered him to leave and slammed the door behind him.

Mrs Gentzsch-Clark, whose late husband Raymond Clark served in the Royal Navy, added she would have hit the thug with her walking stick if he attacked her on the street.

"I would think I'm 91, I should have gone long ago," added the German-born widow.

"I've never thought about myself as tough or weak or nothing, it was a reaction and carried thought because why the hell was he in the drawers?

"He should not have pushed past me in the first place - it was totally wrong.

"It happens and when it does you cannot know before hand that you would react in this way, it's instinct."

She said she used a walking stick after her stroke left her walking with a limp on her left leg and added: "If it was outside I probably would have hit him over the head with it."

"I jumped on his back and held on to him. I jumped at him in the only way I could get hold of him - by my arms around his neck.

"I wasn't thinking anything, only this is an idiot and we both fell on the bed then.

Mrs Gentzsch-Clark, who has three daughters, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, said the incident left her thinking of moving home.

Her husband died 30 years ago after working for Rolls Royce and the Royal Navy.

Mrs Gentzsch-Clark said she was suspicious after being targeted by fraudsters four or five times in the past, including being conned out of £80 and having her passport stolen.

The raider is described as white, aged 40 to 50, and of medium build. He wore a grey coat with dark grey shoulder panels and a hood.

Anyone with information about the incident, which happened on Saturday at 8am, should call Det Con Bernadette White at Clacton CID on 101.