Knifepoint robbery horror at pub

A TERRIFIED barman and landlady were forced to the floor at knifepoint after three robbers strode into an open pub demanding cash.Balaclava-clad robbers walked through the doors of the empty Rose and Crown pub in Thorpe-le-Soken just before closing time at 10.

A TERRIFIED barman and landlady were forced to the floor at knifepoint after three robbers strode into an open pub demanding cash.

Balaclava-clad robbers walked through the doors of the empty Rose and Crown pub in Thorpe-le-Soken just before closing time at 10.15pm on Sunday.

They held a 12-inch knife to the 19-year-old barman's throat and forced him to lie on the kitchen floor.

He was held there for about 15 minutes before landlady Helen Innes came downstairs to lock up.

Her husband Mark was in the flat above the pub with their two children, oblivious to what was happening.

Last night he described their ordeal. He said: "When Helen walked into the kitchen, all she could see was Ollie lying there on the floor.

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"She thought he was dead and went to him asking if he was all right. But then the robbers pounced on her and waved the knife demanding to know where the money was.

"The till is one of those cord-operated ones so they had difficulty getting it open.

"Most of our takings these days come from credit card vouchers, so there was only about £450 in cash in there, which they got away with.

"Poor Ollie got the worst of it – God knows what was going through his head for those 15 minutes."

An Essex Police spokesman said the three robbers were all believed to be in their teens or early 20s and were white. One was thought to be 6ft tall, the second about 5ft 10ins and the third slightly shorter at 5ft 8ins.

Police are possibly linking the robbery with a disturbance at nearby Frating just 45 minutes earlier when three young men were seen at the back of the Kings Arms.

They said they were looking for the toilets, but the landlord thought it was suspicious and they left.

The first man was slim, about 6ft and wore a light top and baseball cap.

The second was around the same height, slim with ginger hair and a Scottish accent wearing a black top and blue jeans.

Anyone with information is asked to call Clacton police on 01255 221312.

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