An axe-wielding thug is captured on CCTV robbing a newsagents before a hero gran chases him out the shop – despite being hit on the head with the weapon.
Shocking footage shows the hooded man pull out the hatchet, jump over the counter and trap shaken cashier Sue Thomas, 65, behind the till.
Fearless owner Ann Sage, 68, confronts the thug, telling him: “You don’t frighten me, I’m calling the police,” at 5.14pm on Wednesday (1/3).
But as she dials 999 the yob grabs her arm, throws her to the floor and smashes the axe into her head at Craven Street Stores in Melton Mowbray, Leics.
He then forces Mrs Thomas to open the till while Ann runs into the street dripping with blood in a bid to stop the crook from escaping.
The thug flees with around £300 in cash and witnesses saw him getting into a parked blue Ford Fiesta a few metres away and speeding off.
Leicestershire Police released the 1.09-minute CCTV footage of the thief who is believed to be between 20 and 35 years old, 6ft (1.82m), well built and white.
Ann, who has run the store with husband Richard for over 30 years, said:
“He’s just a low life – he’s scum. What gives him the right?
“I heard Mrs Thomas shouting: ‘No, no,’ as I was in the back getting my coat to leave and so I just charged out into the front of the shop.
“He was stood over her with the axe, threatening her – he had her trapped.
“I think it was the adrenaline, I just stared straight at him and said: “You don’t frighten me, I’m going to call the police.
“But as I started on the phone he came after me. He pushed me to the ground, and brought the axe down into my head.
“With that he went back behind the counter and continued to threaten Mrs Thomas. I picked myself up and ran out into the street with blood dripping everywhere.
“My fingers wouldn’t work, I was so shaken, so I just yelled: “Help! Somebody ring the police, he’s got an axe.
“Someone starting dialling 999 when he came out of the shop and ran towards his car. I don’t know why but I ran after him.
“I managed to get someone on the other side of the road to get his number plate before he sped off.”
Ann, who has three-grown-up children and 13 grandchildren, was left needing her gash glued back together and has severe bruising on her hip and knee from the fall.
She added: “It just wasn’t worth the trouble, what he did. The amount he took, why did he have to put us all through that?”
Richard said: “We didn’t think Mrs Thomas would come back to work after that, but she did.
“This is a quiet area, in all our 30 years we have never heard anything like this happen.
“We are very vulnerable, we are not a fortress. You just don’t think people do those sorts of things around here.”
Police believe the same man may have robbed the nearby One Stop store in Grange Drive just minutes earlier.
Detective Constable Anna Thorpe said “We are carrying out a number of inquiries in the area in order to establish the exact circumstances surrounding these two incidents and to locate those responsible.
“We are not ruling out the possibility that these robberies might be linked.”