A pub landlord has re-lived his terror at being brutally beaten and tied up by four knife-wielding robbers who targeted his pub for its bank holiday takings.
Chris Jefferies, 58, suffered severe bruising and injuries to the face, as well as a knife wound in his arm after being pounced on by masked thieves after he had cashed up at around 1am on Tuesday. Dad-of-three Chris, who only took over the Black Bull in Great Eccleston three months ago, said the crooks made off with between £8,000 and £10,000 in takings.
He said: “I had just cashed up and taken the till upstairs to the restaurant when I got set on by four people waiting in the restaurant.
“They were masked up with knives and they beat me up and tied me to a chair in the restaurant before they went through my pockets.
“There was a window that was wide open in the restaurant and I managed to untie my feet and get out of the window.
“The only light on in the village was from the pub opposite so I went over there for help.”
Chris, who is married to teaching assistant Karen, 58, and is dad to sons Jos, 33, Jon, 24, and Joe, 21, believes at least one of the thieves knew the pub’s layout.
He said: “The police have been very good and are trying all sorts of things to catch them but it has to be someone who knows this place because its like a maze.”
Chris, who worked as a lorry driver across Europe for 30 years, said he has witnessed his fair share of trouble over the years, but hoped making the transition to becoming a pub landlord would result in a quieter life.
He said: “I’ve had immigrants trying to get into my cab in Calais, threatening me with knives and breaking into the back of my lorry.
“I thought running a pub in a village was going to be a nice, steady occupation.
“We had just started turning the pub around and had opened up the restaurant selling Indian food upstairs, but you get knocked back like this and it throws a spanner in the works.
“The staff have been really supportive. They won’t let me lift and finger but I hope to be back behind the bar as soon as possible.
“My ribs are still very painful. I just have to stop the staff from making me laugh.”
The robbers are reported as speaking with Merseyside accents.
Detective Inspector Lee Wilson, of Lancashire Police, said: “This was a vicious robbery carried out by men who clearly had no hesitation is using extreme levels of violence to get what they wanted.
“I would appeal to anyone who saw anything suspicious at the time, or any people or vehicles acting suspiciously in the days before the robbery, and anyone who has any information about who these offenders could be, to get in touch with us.”