A COURAGEOUS Stafford man has been handed an award after stopping burglars breaking into a neighbour’s house – with the help of his dog.
Quick-thinking Michael Dixey, 57, spotted the two troublemakers trying to climb over a garden fence from his home in Larkin Close, Highfields.
But it was his pet Staffordshire Bull Terrier Zena who alerted him when she began barking outside.
Zena led Mr Dixey, who used to work in security at Stafford College, straight to the would-be burglars and he confronted them next-door.
He recognised one and said he knew his mother, then told the pair to go away. They both then left empty-handed following the attempted burglary just before Christmas.
Mr Dixey’s efforts have now been recognised by police and the courts in Stafford.
He and his wife Wendy were invited to tea at Stafford Crown Court, where he was awarded £200 and a certificate of courage from the High Sheriff of Staffordshire Ann Fisher and Staffordshire Police Constable Mike Richardson also attended.
A special mention was also given to Zena for her help in alerting Mr Dixey to the men.
Mr Dixey said: “I am absolutely honoured to receive this award but most of all I am chuffed to have helped a neighbour in need. My neighbour Ernie was living there at the time although he has since moved out.
“I have two Staffies. Zena is a real guard dog. She doesn’t like anyone moving the bin and she barks at any cars parking outside and sleeps on the bottom of our bed. It is reassuring to know that she is looking out for us.
“I have the award in a frame on the wall and I did use some of the money to buy some gifts for the dogs.”