‘No choice’ but to fight knife raider

Mehboob Alam at the shop in Grasmere Road which was the 'target of a knife-point raid
Mehboob Alam at the shop in Grasmere Road which was the 'target of a knife-point raid
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A NEWSAGENT has spoken of the terrifying moment he grappled with a knife-wielding raider at his town centre shop.

Mehboob Alam says he wrestled the armed robber to the floor of his brother’s Grasmere Road Newsagents during the ordeal.

Mr Mehboob, who has worked in the busy newsagents for five months, said a man entered the shop posing as a customer, but allegedly produced a blade as he approached the till.

He added: “He grabbed my cardigan very strongly and took a knife from inside his coat.

“The knife was big – it was two sided. I had no option but to fight back. I opened the hatch and because he was tall I pushed him to the floor.

“I was thinking please, a customer come and help me.”

The 47-year-old described how he had wrestled with the man on the floor and managed to grab hold of both him and the knife – cutting his hand in the process.

He added: “I’ve got stitches in my hand because I was holding onto his hand with the knife. A lady came and was really scared, he was shouting, I was shouting, and she rang the police.”

The raider struck at around 4.20pm on Monday and the store worker said it was “amazing” he managed to detain the raider for so long.

He added: “I was really scared, but I’ve been in this business for 24 years and this has happened once before in Manchester. You have to protect yourself.”

A 37-year-old man, from South Shore, has been charged with attempted robbery and with possession of an offensive weapon. He has also been charged with robbery and possession of an offensive weapon following a raid at Fylde Pharmacy Ltd on Grasmere Road on February 18.

He appeared at Blackpool Magistrates Court yesterday where the case was adjourned to be reheard at a later date.