A hero jeweller has told how he fought off a gang of masked raiders who battered him with a sledgehammer – by hurling gold watched at them.
Dramatic CCTV footage showed the moment four balaclava-wearing robbers battered their way into Davand Jewellery in Smethwick, West Mids., at 4.40pm on Saturday.
The thieves then smashed glass counters before loading 17 trays of gold jewellery, worth tens of thousands of pounds, into a bag.
The thugs twice smashed owner David Nicholls over the head with a sledgehammer but incredibly the 52-year-old fought back by hitting the raiders with the broken display cases.
He then grabbed a handful of gold watches and threw them at the yobs who fled.
Mr Nicholls, who suffered a head injury and needed hospital treatment, said: “I just thank God that I didn’t get shot or killed or maimed in any way.
“We will recover, it will take a while. The bad thing for us is that we didn’t have insurance, we were between insurance companies and the loss we will have to take ourselves.
“I was trying to protect my wife when they came in and then I just reacted and thought I’d try and stop them.
“The only thing I could grab was the display cabinets which they had smashed and I just tried to hit them with it.
“I grabbed whatever I could and the next thing I knew I was lobbing gold watches at them.
“They were pretty heavy and were hitting the robbers who obviously just had enough and they ran off.
“A few trays of jewellery dropped to the floor, I think they were shocked at being attacked back.
“I didn’t think about myself even though my head was bleeding badly.”
The four offenders got away with tens of thousands of pounds worth of stock, and Mr Nicholls admitted he was unsure whether to continue running the business.
Detective Constable Steve Goddard, from West Midlands Police, said: “The victim was lucky to have got away with relatively minor injuries following what was an extremely nasty attack, there was no need for the level of violence used.
“I’m keen to hear from anyone who witnessed any of what happened or anyone who has any information about who may be responsible.”