WATCH: Terrifying moment shopkeeper fights off robber armed with a knife
PUBLISHED: 10:57 10 May 2018 | UPDATED: 18:28 10 May 2018
A newsagent who fought off a knife-wielding robber who attempted to steal around £1,200 in cash from his till has said he no longer feels fully safe when a customer walks into his shop.
Siva Sivapathasumtharam, 37, owns S K News on Oxford Road, Lowestoft, and spoke of his ordeal which has seen his attacker, Jac Burrows, of Stoven Close, jailed for four and a half years for robbery and a separate incident of theft and assault in Corton.
Mr Sivapathasumtharam described the moment he realised he had to fight the attacker to avoid losing the money that pays for his family, including four children with his youngest daughter only five months old.
He said: “He came in like a normal customer and then put the can on the counter, gave me the 50p and thought I would open the till but I wasn’t going to open the till.
“He came all the way round with a knife saying ‘open the till, give me the money!’ so I pressed the panic button and it didn’t work so I realised I had to fight him.
“He took my cash draw outside and then my next door neighbour came and helped me.
“I don’t know what I was thinking at the time, but afterwards I realised I had done a lot of very scary things.
“I just didn’t have any choice when he came round the counter other than to fight with him and it was something I needed to do otherwise we would lose the money.”
Mr Sivapathasumtharam said he moved to Lowestoft five years ago and has never worried about his safety running his business before, especially after moving to avoid the dangers of London.
He said: “I worked in East London and it happened every single day. I like Lowestoft because it is nice and quiet but now it is a little bit scary.
“I open late at night time and I don’t know who is coming in and it is a problem.”
He added: “When you are doing hard work, if you are risking your life it is not worth earning money. I worry if Lowestoft isn’t the right place any more.
“I am happy that he has been put away, but I worry about his family. He may have a family affected by him going to jail, but this person definitely needed to go to jail for what he did.”
Sentencing Burrows at Norwich Crown Court today, Judge Anthony Bate praised the bravery of Mr Sivapathasumtharam. He said: “The shopkeeper resisted with great determination and courage. He was lucky to escape without injury and that is no thanks to you.”
Andrew Oliver, representing Burrows, said he was full of remorse and said Burrows had written a letter to the court, which he wanted to read out himself.
Burrows, who was sobbing in the dock, said he was ashamed of what he had done and was addicted to alcohol and crack cocaine at the time of the offence and owed £2,500 for a drugs debt.