Photos: Mike Clark
A SHOPKEEPER was left needing stitches after being attacked in his own store by masked armed raiders.
Satpal Singh was confronted by two men – one wielding a baseball bat and the other a gun – in his Hanging Heaton Food Store on Friday night at around 9pm.
The 56-year-old was struck three times with the bat and threatened with the gun after he refused to hand over cash from the till.
Mr Singh, who was in the back of the shop on Mill Lane when the two men burst in, bravely stood his ground and forced the attempted robbers to flee.
He said: “I was doing the papers at the back of the shop and two men burst in, one had a baseball bat and the other one, I wasn’t sure at the time, but he had a gun.
“They said ‘open the till’ and I said, ‘no I’m not doing that’ and the one with the baseball bat hit me and I fell, but I got back up again.
“I walked towards the middle of the store and the bloke with the gun asked me to open the till.
“Somehow I fell but I got back up again. Then he started pointing the gun at me and I just went for him after that. I don’t know how long it took but eventually they went.”
According to Mr Singh the pair fled in the direction of Wood Lane, after only managing to steal an old mobile phone.
Despite needing stitches after several blows to the head, Mr Singh was back in work on Saturday morning.
He said: “When I went for the gun I had no fear. My way of thinking is that if you want to defend yourself you shouldn’t be afraid of cuts and bruises.
“They need stopping. They’ve done this store, they could’ve done other stores and more in the future until we catch them. Hopefully it’s only a matter of time.”
Mr Singh, whose wife Narinder was also in the shop at the time of the incident, said the police have been “very helpful”.
A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said: “Police are appealing for witnesses after a robbery at the Hanging Heaton food store on Mill Lane, Batley. The incident happened at 9.02pm on Friday night (January 12) when two males entered the store. It is believed both of them were armed.
“They then demanded money before the shopkeeper was assaulted. A mobile phone was then stolen. The victim was left with cuts and bruises as a result of the incident.
“Officers want to speak to two males in connection with the incident and any witnesses are asked to call police on 101 quoting crime reference 13180019819 of Friday January 12.”