A MILKMAN was threatened by a knife-wielding robber who stole his van during an early morning round.

Mark Haston was left shaken as a result of the attack, which happened as he dropped off bottles at a customer’s frontdoor in Blackburn.

While the milkman was out of his van in Quebec Road, the attacker jumped into the driver’s seat and pulled out a knife, threatening to kill Mr Haston.

But the determined businessman refused to give up and jumped onto the metal plate at the back of the vehicle and held on as the robber started to drive off.

It was not until the van was reversed into a hedge and a brick wall that Mr Haston let go.

Despite the ordeal shortly before 6am yesterday, he was still completing his rounds yesterday afternoon.

Vera Leonard, who has been having her milk delivered by Mr Haston for 18 years, said: “It is awful to think this happened on our doorstep, especially first thing in the morning.

"You would not expect it. Mark is always really reliable and really nice. I am really sorry to hear what happened to him and I hope the police catch the robber.”

Another customer added: “It is outrageous. He would not have had any money on him anyway.”

An investigation has been launched and officers are now appealing for anybody who might have seen what happened or have any information about the attack to come forward. Insp Andy Carter said: “While the milkman was delivering, someone jumped into the driver’s side. As he went back to his vehicle, the offender pulled a knife on him and set off in the stolen van.

“The milkman stood on the back and the robber was threatening to kill him. The robber stopped and reversed into a hedge and a brick wall to try to get him off.”

Anybody with information should call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.