A TERRIFIED shop worker has spoken of the moment he thought he might die when a masked raider held a knife across his throat.
Sri Lankan-born Radh Mahnd was behind the counter of the Premier store – also known as Aras Convenience Store – in Northgate on Hartlepool’s Headland, when two masked men entered.
While one distracted the 35-year-old, the other moved in and held the “big knife” to his neck, shouting threats at him.
Radh said he just froze and did not dare move until the robbers – whose faces were covered with just their eyes visible – fled with cash, cigarettes and alcohol.
“I couldn’t do anything, I didn’t want to do anything, I was extremely frightened,” said Radh, who has lived in Hartlepool for three years.
“I thought they were going to kill me, they threatened me with the knife. It was a big knife.
“The blade of the knife was touching my skin.”
He added: “I could only see their eyes and they put the knife around my neck and asked me to open the till.
“They had a big bag which they put the stuff in, and then they ran out.”
Detectives from Hartlepool CID are investigating the shocking crime which took place around 10.30pm on Tuesday, May 27, and are studying CCTV footage of the incident.
They are also appealing for any witnesses who may have been near to the shop at the time, or those who know the people responsible for carrying out the robbery, to come forward.
Radh, who speaks with broken English, was left unhurt but shaken by the incident and says he is going to take some time off work to recover from his ordeal.
He said: “It only went on for about three minutes or so but it was very frightening, and I will be very frightened in the shop from now on.
“I’m fine, but I need some time off.”
Two men, one aged 22 and another aged 29, were arrested on suspicion of robbery and were taken to Hartlepool Police Station for questioning.
At the time the Mail went to press they were still being quizzed.