Brave Seaham shop assistant fought off raider with mop

ARMED with nothing more than his trusty mop, shop assistant Billy Harrison chased off a knife-wielding robber.

Billy Harrison

ARMED with nothing more than his trusty mop, shop assistant Billy Harrison chased off a knife-wielding robber.

The 38-year-old was working alone at Dave’s Newsagent, in Seaham, County Durham, on Sunday night, when the masked raider burst in brandishing an eight-inch carving knife. But the brave part-time assistant was determined not to let the thug get his hands on one penny of the day’s takings. So he reached for a mop and chased him out the shop.

Billy last night told The Journal of his ordeal.

“He came in and said ‘I want the money’ and I said, ‘I’m not giving it to you’,” he explained. “Then he tried to grab the till and I grabbed his arm and that’s when he tried to stab me.”

Faced with the eight-inch blade his attacker was brandishing Billy fell backwards behind the till. But as he did so he reached for a nearby mop, and gave chase.

“I just grabbed the mop and chased him out the shop,” he continued. “It was quite a big knife but I was determined he wasn’t going to get any money.”

The raider fled empty-handed, and a 28-year-old local man was arrested later that night in connection with the incident.

The suspect was questioned and released on bail. And officers from Durham Police are now appealing for witnesses to the incident.

A spokesman said: “The incident happened around 7.35pm to 7.45pm on Sunday, when a man described as white, 5ft 8in to 5ft 9in tall of stocky build entered Dave’s Newsagent's on Queen Alexandra Road.

“The man, who was wearing a black jacket and a black woollen balaclava, demanded all the cash from the till before attempting to grab it.

“When challenged by the shop assistant the man produced an eight-inch bladed knife and threatened the staff member with it, but he fled empty-handed when the assistant again held his ground.”

Unfazed by his heroics Billy was back at work the next day. “I don’t like anyone holding knives at me, but I was fine, I was just thinking there’s no way he’s getting anything off us,” he said.

Detectives want to hear from anyone who was in the area on Sunday night, or saw a man acting suspiciously near the shop. Anyone with information should call Durham police on 0345 60 60 365


David Whetstone
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Graeme Whitfield
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