Armed raider stabs shop owner in Hartshill cash for gold robbery
SHOP worker Maurice Leese was stabbed more than six times in the face as he grappled with a robber armed with a knife.
The 65-year-old also suffered cuts to both hands during the attack at his business, The Gold Post, in Hartshill Road, Hartshill.
Now police are appealing for witnesses to help trace the robber who burst into Mrs Leese's cash for gold shop just before 4pm on Saturday.
Mr Leese, of Talke, was recovering at home yesterday after receiving treatment at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire.
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He said: "I was on my own in the shop. I saw him running past the window, but didn't realise the significance of it.
"He ran into the shop and slammed into me. I was sitting on a swivel chair with wheels on it and fell over sideways.
"We had a fight which must have lasted about two minutes, but it felt like a life-time. He had a great big kitchen knife.
"He was stabbing me in the face trying to get me to tell him where the money was.
"It became obvious that if I didn't I was going to lose my eye.
"He probably stabbed me six to eight times in the face, another three times in my right hand and I've got a cut on my left hand."
Mr Leese added that about £300 had been taken from the till.
The former Newcastle borough councillor added: "It is dangerous dealing in gold, but you can't go through life worrying."
The shop, on the corner of Grice Road was cordoned off on Saturday as forensic officers combed the area for clues.
Police also trawled through CCTV footage from a nearby Bargain Booze store, in the hope it may have captured the incident on camera.
Trader Nico Nicolau, aged 32, who owns the Hartshill Chippy opposite the gold shop, said: "Maurice is a very nice gentleman and no-one deserves to be attacked.
"There would be concerns with that type of business and with the economy as it is.
"Maurice is always sitting on his own in the shop. He works for a living and he gets this type of treatment, it is just wrong.
"You never expect it to happen in the middle of the day like that."
Caroline Adams, aged 41, who owns nearby Sunbeds and Gifts Tanning Salon on Hartshill Road, said: "I have been here for 13 years and the area is getting worse.
"But I hope they find whoever did this."
Detective sergeant David Alcock from the reactive CID unit at Hanley said: "We are treating this as a robbery and appealing for any witnesses who were in the area."
Inspector Steven Wilde, of Staffordshire Police, said: "At about 4pm a robbery occurred at the Gold Post while the proprietor was at the premises. A man armed with a knife entered and made threats demanding money.
"A struggle ensued between the two during which the proprietor sustained minor facial injuries and has since been treated at hospital. The man made off with a quantity of cash. We are now appealing for witnesses."
The attacker was wearing a dark hooded jacket.
Anyone with information is asked to DS Dave Alcock at the Northern Reactive CID on 101.