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‘Brave’ Norwich shopkeeper fends off armed robbers with chair

PUBLISHED: 10:13 13 December 2017 | UPDATED: 14:44 13 December 2017

Shopkeeper Kuganeswaran Shanmugam defended his off licence in Heigham Street, Norwich, from armed would-be robbers

Shopkeeper Kuganeswaran Shanmugam defended his off licence in Heigham Street, Norwich, from armed would-be robbers

Archant

A man has described his cousin as “very brave” after he used a fold-up chair to fend off two would-be armed robbers.

Heigham News and Off Licence in Heigham Street, Norwich. Heigham News and Off Licence in Heigham Street, Norwich.

Shopkeeper Kuganeswaran Shanmugam was confronted by two people holding knives in his small convenience store on Heigham Street, Norwich, on Saturday, December 9.

The pair demanded money from Mr Shanmugam, who owns Heigham News and Off Licence, however he refused to hand anything over.

“Around 8pm a boy and a girl entered the store wearing grey trousers and grey hoodies, they looked identical, and they both had knives,” said Mr Shanmugam’s cousin, Shan Shanthakumar.

“[Initially] he was just ignoring them, but then it became more serious and my cousin became a bit panicked.

Shopkeeper Kuganeswaran Shanmugam defended his off licence in Heigham Street, Norwich, from armed would-be robbers Shopkeeper Kuganeswaran Shanmugam defended his off licence in Heigham Street, Norwich, from armed would-be robbers

“He grabbed a fold up chair from behind the counter and the two people with knives ran away.”

Mr Shamugam, who speaks limited English, enlisted the help of a customer who was in the off licence at the time of the incident to call the police who quickly arrived at the scene.

“It all happened within about half a minute. My cousin was very brave,” added Mr Shanthakumar.

Police have charged two people in connection with the robbery bid.

Ben Ashford, of Rackham Road, Norwich, and Katie Lane, of Shorncliffe Avenue, Norwich, who are both 25, were arrested on Monday are accused of robbery and possession of a knife in a public place.

Lane was also charged in connection with a separate robbery at a shop in Bowers Avenue in the city on Monday.

A member of staff was threatened, but once again nothing was stolen.

Both were remanded in custody and appeared at Norwich Magistrates Court yesterday morning. The cases were adjourned until next month.

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