A HAMMER-wielding robber wearing a robot-style mask threatened a 63-year-old shop assistant during a raid on an Accrington off-licence.
Pensioner Judith Whitehead, who works at Booze Busters on Burnley Road, had just started her shift at 7pm on Monday when the robber burst into the store and demanded cash from the till.
Judith, who lives in Rawtenstall, said: "I was on the phone to a friend who had called to check I had got to work OK in the bad weather when he burst through the door.
"He was wearing a metallic-looking mask that was almost robot-like and screamed at me to put the phone down and put the money from the till into a bag.
"I was really scared but luckily my friend on the other end of the line had heard everything that was going on and called the police. Unfortunately they turned up after the robber had left."
She added: "I’m keeping my options open about going back to work as I keep having flashbacks of the mask he was wearing and the feeling of fear."
The shop, which has a policy outlining what its staff should do in this situation, is fitted with a panic alarm linked to the police station. But Judith was unable to get to it.
Although not injured in the attack she has been left very shaken.
The robber managed to take £160, cigarettes and bottles of spirits before heading off in the direction of Sydney Street.
He is described as around 5ft 10ins tall and lean. He wore all dark clothes and spoke with a local accent.
Shop manager James McCarthy, 27, who took over in early December and brought Judith from his previous store in Rawtenstall, said: "I am very impressed with how she handled this terrifying situation.
"When I heard about the incident my only concern was about Judith and not the shop."
Police are appealing for anyone who saw anything suspicious to contact them on 51212 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.