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I fought off machete madman as he tried to hack at my neck
12:30pm Tuesday 17th December 2013 in Echo News
A BRAVE store manager tried to prevent armed robbers getting away even as one swung a machete at his neck.
Sharif Ali blocked a door after the masked robbers, who were armed with a machete and screwdriver, stole a fourfigure sum of cash from the safe of the 99p Store on Canvey, on Saturday.
One of the thugs chopped at Mr Ali’s hand through a crack in the door and swung the machete at his neck after breaking out, before fleeing the scene.
The trainee manager, 24, of Canvey, said: “I thought they might have done something to my manager and colleagues, they might have hurt or killed them. So I thought I won’t let them get away. I thought it was the first thing I had to do as a citizen. I wish I could have stopped them.”
The two men, both of whom were wearing masks, walked into the Furtherwick Road store at about 5.15pm, went through a staff-only door and headed upstairs to where the manager’s office, staff room and staff toilets are.
They forced staff in the manager’s office to open a safe and hand over the money.
A colleague warned Mr Ali two people in hoodies had gone upstairs, but he thought they were teenagers hoping to raid the staff room. When he saw them coming down the stairs brandishing a knife, he shut the door and put his weight against it.
The robbers managed to push the door open enough to reach out with the machete and swing at Mr Ali.
He said: “He tried to stab my hand while I was holding the door. His handle hit my hand, pushing it away and theymanaged to open the door.
“As soon as he got out, he swung at my neck. It was a really big knife.”
The first man is described as 5ft 8ins tall, with blue eyes, and spoke with a London accent. He was aged 27 to 30, and wore a black jacket, dark blue Adidas tracksuit bottoms with white stripes down the side, white trainers, and a grey top with a cartoon on the front. He was wearing a mask.
The second was aged 19 or 20, skinny, and about 5ft 7ins tall. He wore a mask, blue jeans, black Puma trainers, andawhite and a black jacket.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Southend CID on 101.
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