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Nirupa Patel was brutally attacked in the same shop her husband was stabbed to death in six years ago. Last week, her attacker Tomasz Jaworski was sentenced to 12 years in jail.
Here, Nirupa shares her first-hand account of the torment she faced to highlight
the true extent of crime faced by retailers.
“My nephew had opened the shop that morning. I was at home, which is on the same road, and was watching the CCTV on an iPad.
A guy walked in and was being feisty and arguing with my nephew so he told him to go. A few minutes later he came back in the shop, and took a bottle of Coke and slammed it on the counter. My nephew told him to go again. But he came back again a few minutes later and he picked up a bottle of wine. They were arguing and he pushed my nephew.
I heard shouting on the road so I went out. My nephew was standing outside the shop door and the guy was a little further away. I said to my nephew “what the hell is going on?”, and he said he’d come in a couple of times and was arguing with him. At this point he grabbed my nephew by the neck and pushed him on the pavement and got on top of him. He was saying he wanted to smash hishead on the pavement.
I tried to pull him away saying “Don’t do anything stupid”. I managed to kick him and he got up and said he didn’t touch women and that he was going. But he went behind me, picked up a bottle of wine and slammed it over my nephew’s head.
He then disappeared, so I told my nephew to go. I went into the shop, my eye shot to the camera and I could see him in the corner of the shop.
I thought ‘Oh no, what do I do?’. Someone opened the door of the shop and said “Don’t worry we have called the police” and went. He then got really angry. I completely froze.
He came and grabbed my neck and got hold of a pencil from the counter saying “I’m going to kill you now”. I managed to take the pencil off him and break it in two and he got really angry.
He grabbed me by my hair and dragged me around the shop like a ragdoll and kept on punching and kicking me and wouldn’t let go of my neck.
He then dragged me behind the counter, looking for something to stab me with, but couldn’t find anything. He was so, so desperate. I tried to press the panic button and he saw. He said if I called the police or anyone he was going to kill me.
He was strangling me harder and harder with all his force. He managed to get hold of a piece of glass and start slicing me from the top of my head to the cheek and his intention was to go down to my neck. I managed to get the glass and he got angrier. I said to him “It’s Christmas Eve, you must have a family to go to, just let me go and I won’t say anything to the police”. But he wouldn’t let go of me.
I said “I need water, can you give we some water please”. He picked it up and slammed it on the floor and tightened his grip on my neck. I couldn’t breathe at that moment and I could feel my eyes coming out of my head and I thought ‘This is it’.
I tried to pull away from him and then all of a sudden I lost my balance and fell on the floor. He got on top of me and picked up whatever came into his hand and start slamming it on my head. I thought “This guy clearly wants to kill me”.
A delivery man from Smiths came in and saw what was happening and went to get my nephew. They came in and tried to pull him away from me and at that moment the police arrived.
I was on the floor on the same spot as my husband. I thought I can’t let people walk all over us, I lost my husband, but I will let his memory go on, so I opened up and did it for six years.
I had the courage to go back after my husband was stabbed when so many would have given up. I would still say don’t give up, but this time my children won’t let me go back.
I fought day-in day-out with drunk people. I used to have people shouting at me, throwing abuse at me, but I never ever thought something like this would happen to me. I never thought it would happen again.”
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