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The day started well with me dropping the other half’s car off at the garage and walking into work. Nothing exciting and another two and a half miles added.

I was expecting to walk back to the garage after work to pick up the car after the work had been done. However, I heard nothing from the garage so made my way, along the canal, as usual, to catch the bus at Saltley.

As I approached Garrison Lane, I noticed a group of four lads messing about with a small fire – as kids do. As I got close they left their fire starting activities and started walking away.

I caught up with them and passed. A few seconds later, I heard running behind me and the next thing I knew was that I had been kicked in the back and knocked to the ground.

The four youths, probably aged around sixteen surrounded me and demanded that I give them my phone. I refused.

“Give us your money” a lad with a mask over his mouth demanded. Again, I refused. There then followed an uneasy standoff with them demanding my stuff and I refusing.

I got to me feet and started walking along the canal towards the next exit. Outside an adjacent house, I noticed a couple sat outside. I called to them and told them that I was being attacked. I was totally ignored !

With the ramp up, away from the canal in sight, I started to run. I was pursued with one of the gang urging his cohorts to “Let him go!”

I turned the corner and ran up the ramp. It was at this point that they gave up.

Once off the canal and on to a road, I pulled out my phone and dialed 999. I relayed my experience and was told that an officer would pop around and take a statement from home.

I cut my walking activities short and caught a bus straight home. No-one called but at around nine I received a call from the police apologising that no officer was available but someone could see me on Sunday! I’ll have forgotten most of the details by then.

Statistically, after all the walks that I have done over the years, this is the first time that I’ve had any problems. Should I re-think about some of the routes that I take in future ?

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