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Woman triangle chokes attacker unconscious, judge awards her £500

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A woman in Cheltenham, England used her martial arts skills to great effect when she put a would-be rapist to sleep with a triangle choke.

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The town of Cheltenham in Gloucestershire, England, where a woman bravely fought off her attacker by choking him out
The town of Cheltenham in Gloucestershire, England, where a woman bravely fought off her attacker by choking him out
Wikimedia Commons

One day after a mixed martial artist in Florida foiled a bank robber, a story has emerged from across the pond in England about a Gloucestershire woman who rendered her sex attacker unconscious with a triangle choke in the middle of the night.

The unidentified woman was walking to her Cheltenham home at around 2 AM last August when 39-year-old Mark Willis grabbed and punched her several times before forcing her to the ground and mounting her. But the woman, who had two years of kickboxing under her belt and had taken a self-defense course, fought back in a big way. According to The Telegraph, the woman told the Gloucester Crown Court jury that she tried to break his arm with an armbar, but when that didn't work she went for a triangle choke and put him to sleep.

"I was stunned for a moment. Again I could feel him grabbing between my legs and pulling at my clothes. My legs were still free so I lifted my left leg up onto his shoulder and around the back of his neck. I crossed my right leg over and squeezed together as hard as I could.

"He seemed to struggle for air - which was the point! His head was locked down. He lifted his right hand and literally pounded as hard as he could on the side of my face.

"I closed my eyes and held it for as long as I could hoping he would pass out in a few seconds. Then I felt his body go limp. I thought he had lost consciousness or run out of air. I flipped him off, rolled over and crawled through the bushes to the door of the house. I could hear footsteps as he ran away and then a car starting."

The man was captured shortly thereafter by police and arrested.

Willis, who was previously jailed in 2011 for punching a man and then dragging his girlfriend away to his van, admitted to causing bodily harm but denied any sexual assault charges. The denial was meaningless to the jury, who convicted him of the charge. He'll be sentenced at a later date.

Meanwhile, the woman was awarded £500 (roughly $777 US), which Judge William Hart called "a tiny token of the court's appreciation of what she has done to bring about the apprehension of Mr Willis. It is just a mark of the court's gratitude."