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Have-a-go hero exclusive

Created on 02/12/2010 @ 16:19


Have-a-go hero Stuart Woodings (right) has revealed to mywelshpool that he would not hesitate to fight to defend his property again.
Speaking the day after battling three armed raiders at his Welshpool jewellers, The County Goldsmiths, Mr. Woodings, 30, said that despite his terrifying ordeal, he would take the same course of action if it happened again.
“It was either them or me,” he said. “There was no way I was going to let them get their hands on everything that my family has worked hard to build up.”
The incident happened two minutes before closing time at 4.58pm when three masked men barged into the shop, hoping to snatch takings from day one of a sale that had been advertised in Shropshire media. But they didn’t expect to be confronted by a man with a background in karate, judo and boxing and not willing to give in without a fight.
Mr. Woodings takes up the story:
“I was sitting at my desk when the door banged open and in barged this masked man shouting ‘get on the f*&^ing floor!’ I thought it was my mate messing about or something! I was startled and tried to get up from my chair but the guy pepper sprayed my face from close range.
“I was totally disorientated. But then there was a realisation that I was in serious trouble. He grabbed me around my neck but I pushed him back and then punched him hard in the face and he went back. I followed it up with another good punch in the face which he would have definitely felt.
“I keep a metal bar just under my desk and as we were grappling with each other I reached for it and hit the guy on the side of the head. The other two jumped on me and it was then that I felt pain in my back and they had hit me with a crow bar.
“There was no way that I was going to let them win. I held on to the one guy and just kept thinking if I can knock this one out then there’s two more to go. I carried on hitting him as the others shouted ‘let’s go’. At one point I reeled back and put my hand through the display glass but I kept holding on to him. He had a rucksack on which I held on to but it ripped and he managed to wriggle free and scramble out of the shop.
“I walked out of the shop but my eyes were stinging from the spray. From what I could see they just jogged calmly away and I believe they had a car waiting for them around the corner.”
Police have put out an appeal for information and Mr. Woodings said that he felt the raiders had Shropshire/West Midlands accents.
“My feeling is that they have seen the advert in the newspaper about the seven-day sale and decided to hit the shop at the end of the first day’s trading thinking that there would be a lot of cash.
“Am I brave or stupid? I don’t know but there was no way they were getting their hands on what my family has built up over a long time. They were not going to win.”
Incredibly, Mr. Woodings was back at the shop first thing this morning and has reassured customers that it is business as usual and the sale will continue up until December 7. It is believed to be the first armed robbery on the shop since it opened 30 years ago.
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