Newsagent foils attacker
Laura Bagshaw A GREAT Yarmouth newsagent wrenched a nine-inch kitchen knife out of the hand of a teenager as the yob tried to raid the shop on Camden Road.The hooded attacker and his accomplice only fled empty-handed when a neighbouring shopkeeper came to James Childs' aid, knocking both to the ground in a fierce struggle.
A GREAT Yarmouth newsagent wrenched a nine-inch kitchen knife out of the hand of a teenager as the yob tried to raid the shop on Camden Road.
The hooded attacker and his accomplice only fled empty-handed when a neighbouring shopkeeper came to James Childs' aid, knocking both to the ground in a fierce struggle.
Mr Childs 59, who runs the shop as part of a family partnership of three stores across the town, described his ordeal as “by far the worst incident in my 30 years here”.
And his brother Ralph, one of three trustees of the National Federation of Retail Newsagents, said it reinforced the group's fears that the economic downturn would lead to crime escalating.
Robbers struck at about 5.15pm on Saturday as Mr Childs went out the back of the shop to fetch packs of beer to refill the fridge.
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Mr Childs, married with three step-children, said: “As I turned, one of them came towards me with his knife raised and said, 'give me your money'. I said, 'hang on a minute, it's in the till' and then pointed out I had my hands full with the packs of beer.
“He dropped his hands slightly and that's when I grabbed the hand with the knife and said, 'give me the knife and I will give you some money'.
The alarm was raised by a woman who walked into the shop during the fracas and ran to the Camden Road Supermarket next door for help.
Supermarket owner Philip Sutton said he was alerted to the robbery on the shop radio by one of his staff.
He said: “I ran straight round there and knocked one of the raiders over by opening the door. I threw him out and then went after the one with the knife.”
Fearing what was happening, the youth slackened his grip on the knife, enabling Mr Childs to grab it while Mr Sutton grabbed him round the neck and wrestled him to the ground.
It is thought the raider may have sustained one or two black eyes in the struggle before he managed to free himself and run out.
The raiders, both described as about 17 and wearing sunglasses, turned right out of the shop and then darted down an alley possibly in the direction of Queens Road.
The knifeman is described as about 5ft 8in, very thin, with blond cropped hair. He was wearing a black hooded top and black baseball cap with a red peak. He had what appeared to be a black-and-white checked scarf covering his lower face.
His accomplice is thought to be of a similar age, but a bit taller. He had dark hair and was wearing a dark hooded top.
Det Sgt Andy Ninham, of Yarmouth CID, praised the “exceptional bravery” of the men but added police would advise the public to carefully risk assess the situation before acting, particularly where weapons are involved.
No further updates were available from the police this week.
Anyone with information should contact Yarmouth CID on 0845 456 4567 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.