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Newsagent reveals terror as screaming robber hits him six times on the head with rock

Siraj Bawla was taken to hospital after the attack at the General Store

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Shop worker Siraj Bawla, 51, hit on the head during newsagent robbery in Accrington

A shop worker has spoken of his terror after he was hit on the head six times with a rock during an attempted robbery.

Siraj Bawla, 51, was working at the General Store on Spencer Street, Accrington, when the attack occurred at 1.30pm on Thursday, August 2.

He said a man came in the empty newsagents’ shop and was seemingly eyeing up items close to the counter before he suddenly turned violent.

Mr Bawla said: “I just thought he was looking at the toothpaste close to the counter but then he suddenly lunged towards me.

“He had a rock in his hand, grey coloured, it filled his whole palm.

“He came behind the counter and hit me on the back of the head with the rock and I fell from the stool I was sitting on.

“He was screaming ‘open the till, open the till’, but I was in disbelief, I didn’t know what had happened.

“He hit me another five times all to the back of my head but when I didn’t go to the till he then seemed to change his mind and ran out of the shop.

“I was terrified and in shock.”

Mr Bawla was attended to by paramedics and was taken to Royal Blackburn Hospital and treated for cuts and bruises to his head but fortunately was not seriously injured.

He was discharged later that day and decided to take a few days to rest before returning to work.

Mr Bawla, who lives in Blackburn, has thanked the members of the local community for their support after the attack.

He said: “Nothing like this has happened at the shop for the last 22 years.

“It’s a tight knit community around here who all look out for each other.

“It’s been very nice the amount of people who have asked how I am and said how sorry they are that this happened to me.

GV of General Store in Spencer Street, Accrington

“It shows most people are good.

“I know this is just an isolated incident.”

Police confirmed that the offender fled the store empty handed and that no arrests have been made.

The suspect is described as a white male, around 6ft tall with a slim build.

He is in his 20s with short grey hair.

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He was wearing a blue hoodie and grey shorts and his face was not covered during the attempted robbery.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Lancashire Police on 101 quoting log number 715 of August 2.