Battered landlord tells of terror at hands of masked raiders

A landlord has spoken of his terror after masked thugs armed with a machete and spade burst into his pub demanding cash.

Wednesday, 20th December 2017, 8:46 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st December 2017, 9:15 am
Landlord Lee Thompson

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Landlord stabbed after pub raided in Whittle-le-Woods

Lee Thompson has spoken of how armed burglars wearing horror masks broke into the Sea View pub near Chorley in the early hours of Monday morning.

The 40-year-old also told the Post how, during the ordeal, a female employee was dragged out of her slumber and threatened with a machete to her throat.

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It happened after Lee had just finished a night’s work at the establishment in Preston Road, Whittle-le-Woods.

“I was downstairs in the kitchen at about 1.45am just making a sandwich and I saw two guys forcing the door,” he said.“They had Purge masks on which was very scary. One had a machete and the other had a spade.

“I just started throwing plates at them, the work table, anything just to get away from them but they caught hold of me on the stairs and threatened me with the machete.

“I just said, ‘I will give you the money’.

“I just gave them the night’s takings but they were unhappy, they said it wasn’t enough and they wanted the weekend’s taking as well.”

At this point the two men started demanding that Lee show them where his safe was. They took him all over the pub and his living area above the pub hunting for the safe.

“A female friend and employee was asleep in the spare room,” said Lee. “They woke her up and dragged her out of bed.

“They were looking for the safe. I don’t even have a safe.

“The guy was hitting me with the spade and I was trying to defend myself. “They threatened my employee with a knife at her throat.”

The two men, one of whom is believed to be from Liverpool, were wearing masks similar to the ones from dystopian horror film The Purge. The film is about what happened over the course of a day when illegal acts are decriminalised.

Lee said: “The guy with the spade was just screaming hysterically, wielding it above his head and sometimes it missed me and sometimes it hit.

“The Purge masks were designed to intimidate, my friend was absolutely terrified.

“They slashed my thigh and my knee – when they left and the police had arrived I looked down and I was just bleeding everywhere. The whole incident probably lasted only about eight minutes but it felt like a lifetime.”

Lee suffered a broken hand, a black eye, a bust lip and had to have five stitches in his thigh at Royal Preston Hospital. His foot is also badly damaged and he is unable to walk on it.

In all of the 40 years he and his parents have run the public house Lee has never experienced anything like this. His only memory of a theft was when he was a child and some cash was stolen from the till. For Lee, who lives above the pub, it is the worst time of year to have been burgled. He said: “With it being Christmas week it’s going to be very difficult.It is the busiest time of year and it’s going to be difficult for me to work now and for such a small sum of money as well.”

Anyone with information should contact police on 101 quoting log number 0095 of Monday, December 18th or independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.