Gunman threatens member of staff before robbing busy pub

The Fleece Inn
The Fleece Inn
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An armed robber threatened a pub worker with a handgun before making off with takings from a crowded local.

The terrifying raid happened as drinkers were enjoying a Sunday night out at the popular Fleece Inn at Penwortham.

The man, who broke into the pub’s back office area, is said to have grabbed a 22-year-old female member of staff as she went to put cash in a safe.

The woman was not physically hurt, but was described as “badly shaken up” by the robbery. The man, who was wearing a grey scarf over his face, is believed to have got away with around £500.

Manager Deborah Ellis said: “It was about 10 to 10 when someone broke into the back office area and waited in the office for one of our staff to go up there.

“He grabbed her and tried to get her to open the safe.

“He had a handgun, but fortunately he didn’t discharge it. He then made off with one of the tills.

“The member of staff, who doesn’t want to be named, is quite badly shaken up by the ordeal. She’s having a couple of days off to get herself together.

“We shut the pub last night after the robbery and we were here until about four in the morning sorting things out. But we are open again today as normal.

“Everyone was shocked that something like this could happen when the pub was so busy. But we’re all relieved no-one was hurt. It must have been a very frightening experience.”

Police revealed on Monday evening that they had arrested a 22-year-old man on suspicion of robbery. Later they said he had been released on bail until May 18 pending further enquiries.

DI Jo Keay said: “We have a team of experienced detectives working on this investigation and I would like to reassure the residents of Penwortham that, although incidents of this kind are rare, we have stepped up our presence in the area.”