Masked raider in brutal assault on Wisbech shopkeeper

A HOODED attacker punched his victim in the face during a brutal street robbery.

A POPULAR shopkeeper was robbed of his weekend takings in a brutal street assault by a masked raider.

Mukesh Patel, known as Mike, fears he might struggle to pay the bills that keep his beloved Londis store afloat after he was targeted by a lone attacker when he walked to the bank.

Police have told him not say how much was taken but Mr Patel says it was a “substantial amount” which will make it harder for him to pay creditors and suppliers to the Tinkers Drove store he has run for 24 years.

But the brave 56-year-old was back behind the counter just hours later after saying: “Whatever has happened, I can’t chicken out.

“This is my job and my livelihood. I should not put myself down or give up just because of this.”

Mr Patel set out from the shop he has run for nearly a quarter of a century at 8.45am on Monday (July 26).

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He walked for about six or seven minutes with a small briefcase in hand when saw a man dressed in black running towards him.

The retailer assumed the man was out for jog but got the shock of life when he was punched in the face.

Mr Patel desperately clung on his briefcase containing the cash and a full set of keys but the raider snatched it regardless, pulling off the handle and leaving it in the victim’s hand.

A startled Mr Patel ran after his assailant shouting: “Stop him, stop him, he’s got my bag” while blood streamed down his shirt, trousers and shoes.

But the attacker, wearing a black scarf round his face and black material across his mouth to conceal his face, evaded capture after he fled through an alleyway towards Storbeck Road.

Two good samaritans then cared for Mr Patel by giving him a hankerchief for his bleeding nose and comforting him until paramedics arrived.

A check over by doctors later revealed he had a black eye, a sore nose, sore lips and a painful tooth.

Detective Sergeant Matt Swash has appealed for witnesses to the incident to come forward.

Anyone with information should contact Cambridgeshire Police on 0345 456 4564.

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