Sheffield newsagent stabbed fighting off masked robber

Stabbed: Newsagent Michael Wiles whose shop was robbed. Picture: Stuart Hastings.
Stabbed: Newsagent Michael Wiles whose shop was robbed. Picture: Stuart Hastings.
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A NEWSAGENT was stabbed three times while fighting off a masked robber in a chilling attack at his shop in Sheffield.

Michael Wiles, aged 57, who owns Wiles Newsagents on Langsett Road, Walkley, was knifed in the stomach, shoulder and below his ribs by a crook who issued the terrifying threat: “I’m going to stab you and murder you.”

After a struggle the armed robber fled - taking just £20 from the counter and leaving his victim bleeding.

Michael told The Star he was left ‘shaken up’ following the attack, and that he wants to see the robber jailed.

“I hope they find him and I hope they give him a long sentence before somebody else gets hurt,” he said.

Four years ago Michael’s father, 80-year-old Lewis Wiles, died after a row with young customers outside the newsagents, which is often plagued by troublemakers.

During the argument Lewis was pushed to the ground, hitting his head on the pavement. No criminal charges were brought over the death.

Michael said the robbery happened after he had opened the shop as usual at around 6am.

“Somebody came in for a packet of cigarettes, and as I went and served him another character came in with a balaclava covering his face up, saying, ‘I’m going to stab you and murder you’.

“It was quite a chilling thing to say.

“I believed him when he said it We had a tussle, and he pushed me against the back wall. I noticed he had a knife in his right hand, and then he tried to stab me. I grabbed hold of his arm and didn’t think the knife had entered me.”

Michael said the weapon was a single-bladed knife, around five inches long, and that the robber ran out of the shop because he thought another customer was about to come in.

“I rang the police and went outside but there wasn’t anybody at the bus stop, no cars and no pedestrians,” he said.

“My shop assistant arrived for work and as she was serving customers I thought I felt a bit wet on my stomach. I pulled my shirt up and realised I’d been stabbed. I didn’t even feel a thing.

“I’d been stabbed on my right hand side on my stomach and just below my ribs, and once on my left shoulder.”

Michael was taken by ambulance to the Northern General Hospital, where he was kept overnight as a precaution.

“They said I’d lost a lot of blood but I didn’t feel anything,” he said.

Michael said his attacker was probably in his teens, and that he regularly deals with disturbances from youths aged 13 to 20.

“But you don’t expect it at 8.30 in the morning,” he said. “I was just pleased he got out of the door and nobody else was hurt. I didn’t think anything was taken at first, but about £20 was taken from the top of the till.”

Michael, who has run the shop for 35 years, said it is becoming increasingly dangerous to have a small business but added: “You’ve got to keep battling on. It’s an occupational hazard now.

“I’m not scared of kids.”

* Witnesses, or anyone with information about the robbery just before 8.30am on Friday, should call South Yorkshire Police on 0114 220 2020, quoting incident 172 of October 21, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.