A shopkeeper today told of the moment he was brutally assaulted by a man threatening to pull a gun.
James Campbell, 39, who runs the Campbells Fruit and Veg shop, in Blackpool Road, Lane Ends, Preston, said he had been left a “nervous wreck” following the attack.
He was left pouring with blood following the assault, but bravely ignored the thug’s demands for cash and sprinted from his shop into a nearby business.
He was on the phone at the back of his shop when he heard the man come in.
He said: “I thought it was just a customer saying they were ready to be served.
“I turned around and he just punched me right in the face.
“Even though he was right in front of me, my brain just blocked out what happened and what he looked like.
“It was a shock. There was a lot of foul language and he was saying, ‘I want the money’.
“I don’t know how I managed to do it, I just found some inner strength and told him the only money I had was in the till.
“I thought if I can get to the till I can get out of the shop.”
During the attack, police said the offender also threatened Mr Campbell, telling him he had a “laser gun”, although no weapon was produced.
The victim needed two hours hospital treatment and has been left with bruises and a large cut on his lip.
He said: “I’m a nervous wreck to be honest.
“I have got friends who have been doing shifts, coming in to make sure I’m not left on my own for too long.”
Today, police were appealing for any witnesses to the offence to come forward.
Det Sgt John Crichton, of Preston CID, said: “He has been left quite shaken up.
“It has been a frightening experience for the man and it seems the motive at this time was that this person was desperate for money.
“He is a dangerous person and the public should not approach him.”
The incident happened at around 2pm on Saturday, June 9. The offender was white, aged 25-30, around 5ft 10in. He had a medium build and short, fair hair.
He is believed to have run off in the Woodplumpton Lane/Belmont Avenue area.