Burnley shop owner's knife raid terror
A SHOPKEEPER feared for his life when a racist knifeman burst into his Burnley store and threatened to stab him to death.
Brave Bhag Singh, 46, managed to wrestle Anthony Doran out of his Padiham Road premises, as frightened customers and children watched in horror.
Doran, 45, has now been sent to a secure mental hospital indefinitely after Preston Crown Court heard he was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.
CCTV footage shows the terrifying moment Doran ran across the road to Singh Stores, armed with a kitchen knife.
Once inside, he ran around the counter and Mr Singh tried to fend him off with a stool.
This was the start of an eight-minute nose-to-nose confrontation between the pair, with Doran hurling racist abuse at Mr Singh and telling him he was going to stab him.
Mr Singh said: “There were children in the shop crying and I was telling them to get out, I would sort it out.
“But he was saying he was going to kill me, shouting racist stuff and telling me to go back to my own country.”
Several minutes into their struggle, the shopkeeper, who had managed to grab hold of Doran’s arms, guided him slowly out of the shop.
But it was some time before passer-by Warren Parker was able to intervene and disarm the knifeman.
Mr Singh said it was very fortunate that Doran had not tried to stab him straight away, after coming through the shop’s door just after 9am on May 15 last year.
Instead, Doran ran round the counter, giving Mr Singh time to defend himself.
He also praised the staff from Cohen’s Chemists, next door, who not only alerted the police but pleaded with passing motorists and pedestrians to come to the shopkeeper’s rescue.
Doran, of Kime Street, Burnley, who appeared via a court video link, admitted attempted murder.
He was told by Judge Anthony Russell QC that he will not be able to leave a secure mental health unit without the approval of the Home Secretary.
The court heard that he had four previous offences on his record, including a caution in 2002 for causing grievous bodily harm.
Dr Lucy Baron, one of the psychiatrists who assessed the defendant, said: “He does have a history of violence in mental health settings. That’s the reason he hasn’t had many convictions over the years.”
Speaking after the case, Det Chief Insp Sion Hall praised Mr Singh’s ‘quick-thinking’ and the bravery of the shopkeeper and Mr Parker.
He said: “Mr Singh and his family were doing what they always do on that dreadful day in May, serving the community in which they work and live.
“It is only through the quick-thinking and bravery of Mr Singh and an extremely brave member of the public that we weren’t dealing with fatalities.
“This whole experience has been a particularly traumatic one for Mr Singh and his family and the sentence passed down comes as a welcome conclusion to the matter.”
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