A SHOPKEEPER fought off an armed robber wielding a kitchen knife by hitting him over the head with a wooden pole.
Muhammad Kashif left the knifeman bloodied during the bungled robbery attempt at his newsagents in Bonnyrigg, Midlothian.
The hooded robber burst into the Dundas Stores in Dundas Place brandishing a 12-inch blade and demanded the day’s takings
But the 22-year-old shop assistant kept his head as the thug attempted to open the till before lashing out with the window pole which he keeps hidden behind the counter.
Police have launched a manhunt for the “stocky” knifeman who fled the shop with a possible “wound or injury to his head”. Officers are checking CCTV footage of the “terrifying” incident which took place around 7.05pm on Thursday.
Mr Kashif admitted he was “a bit scared” during his heroic exploits at his cousin’s business, but was determined not to hand over the £500 takings.
He said: “I was watching the news on my phone when he just burst in and started flashing the big kitchen knife about. I was in shock but I was determined he wouldn’t get any of our takings.
“He came at me with the knife and I backed off and let him try and open the till, but after a few attempts he just couldn’t do it.
“I was just waiting for my chance to grab the pole and when he backed off for a second I managed to get it and smash him over the head with it.
“I could see he had a cut to his head as I chased him out the shop. It wasn’t until afterwards that I thought of the danger I was in. I admit I was a bit scared – but I think I just went into autopilot and tried to protect what was ours.”
The would-be robber was last seen clutching his head as he made his escape along the town’s Dundas Street before being lost to sight. Police Scotland’s Detective Inspector David Pinkney said: “This was a terrifying experience for the shop assistant, despite the suspect leaving empty-handed.”