December 11 2013 Latest news:
ROBBERY: The moment a 67-year-old businessman was attacked with a metal bar as he went to open his shop in Lowestoft. The CCTV footage of the attacker. The attack. Pease note the CCTV image shows the gilet the attacker was wearing as green, but in reality it was grey.
By MARK BOGGIS
Friday, October 18, 2013
A businessman who was robbed and viciously assaulted as he went to open his shop in Lowestoft admitted this week that he was lucky to have not suffered more serious injuries.
The victim, aged 67, was left with three broken bones in his right hand and severe bruising to his arms and body, after he was set upon in Bevan Street West and repeatedly hit with a steel bar.
But the man, who runs businesses in Lowestoft and Norwich, said he was fortunate to have had his arms above his head when he was first struck by his attacker, as this bore the brunt of the assault.
“This could’ve been a lot, lot worse,” he said. “I could be in hospital now with at least a fractured skull.”
The man recounted details of the robbery this week after police issued CCTV images of the incident which happened at about 9.45am on Friday, October 4, close to the junction with Katwijk Way.
Detectives have described it as “a cowardly attack” but stress violent street robberies are “rare” in Lowestoft.
The shop owner – who is not being named for fear of reprisal – said the incident happened in broad daylight just “three days after my 67th birthday” as he went to unlock the shutters to his business premises.
He said: “I went to unlock a big padlock and had my arms above my head. This man came from behind me and attacked me with a steel bar. It hit the back of my hand – fortunately my hand took the brunt rather than my head. He was after my briefcase and kept saying ‘give us the bag’.”
After refusing to hand over the case, which contained paperwork, he was repeatedly struck with the weapon which resembled a baton. Recalling the terror he felt, he said: “He left me with three broken bones in my hand.
“He attacked me across my left arm and I was left with severe bruising across the chest where I had been attacked with the bar. As I was in a lot of problems, I was shouting out loud all the time ‘help, I’m being robbed.’”
Bravely fighting back, the victim managed to land a blow upon his attacker, who was in his teens or late 20s, by striking him with a bunch of keys and within moments other people were on the scene.
The robber fled, without the briefcase, cycling away on a grey bike towards Stanley Street. However, he did escape with the victim’s set of keys which had fallen to the ground in the attack.
“He picked up the keys before he made his escape on a fantastic get-away vehicle – a pushbike,” he said: “I’d seen him on a wall before the attack but I didn’t think anything of it, as it was a cold day and he had his hoodie up.”
After the robbery, the businessman was taken to the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston where he was given X-rays and found to have three broken bones in his hand and severe bruising to his arms and body.
Seeking justice for this attack, the victim said: “It is the inconvenience of it all really, Basically I am in a plaster-cast from the tips of my fingers to the elbow – I run businesses and I can’t be off work. I was lucky (in that respect) but the biggest inconvenience is that, with the injuries to my right hand, I can’t drive and I can’t write.”
According to the latest police figures, which run from the beginning of April to the end of September, robberies in Lowestoft are down by 33pc year on year – with 18 incidents reported involving individuals or business premises.
Six of these have been detected so far.
Suffolk police spokesman Anne-Marie Breach said yesterday: “We are treating this incident very seriously as incidents of robbery where someone is injured are still comparatively rare.
“We would like to thank those who have already come forward to say they saw the offender in the area prior to the incident but still need to speak to anyone who may have information about who he is.
“This was a cowardly attack by an offender who used violence against an older man simply trying to go about his business. We ‘d ask anyone who can help find the person responsible to call as soon as possible.
“There may be people who saw him going into or coming out of a property, or those who have their suspicions about who he is and we would urge anyone who can help to call us as soon as possible.”
The CCTV pictures show that the attacker was wearing a grey tracksuit – top and bottoms – with the hood pulled up and pulled tightly around his face and a grey gilet over the top of the tracksuit.
■If you can help, ring Lowestoft CID on 101 or contact Crimestoppers, anonymously if required, on 0800 555 111.