Hero Sheffield female shopkeeper tackles armed robber

Ishaq Ilyas, 32, jailed for five years including attempt robbery where woman shopkeeper heroically fought back
Ishaq Ilyas, 32, jailed for five years including attempt robbery where woman shopkeeper heroically fought back
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A female have-a-go Sheffield shopkeeper who tackled an armed robber and bundled him out of the shop has been praised by a judge.

Mother-of-three Makadalin Sureshraj was enraged after three previous gun and knifepoint hold-ups in the last six months at her family’s convenience store.

She could not stand by when 32-year-old Ishaq Ilyas stormed into the shop, circled the premises and then demanded cash waving a knife at her.

In dramatic CCTV footage shown at Sheffield Crown Court she could be seen grappling with hooded Ilyas and forcing him out of the premises.

Jailing Ilyas for five years, Judge Peter Kelson said: “What a remarkable lady. It was a full-blooded attack and the CCTV speaks for itself. I commend the victim for her remarkable courage.”

The judge told Ilyas: “The CCTV is shocking. You barged in with a mask on and brandishing a knife. When she puts up resistance you force her backwards and point the knife towards her and thrust it towards her stomach.

“Showing remarkable courage she pushed you away and sustains a cut to her hand which required four stitches at hospital. Thereafter she shows great fortitude trying to get your mask off you and forces you out of the shop.”

Afterwards modest Mrs Sureshraj, aged 38, who runs the Go Local store on Firshill Glade, Shirecliffe, with her family said: “I was just shocked and panicked.

“It was the first time I have faced a robber but I had just had enough. I don’t know what I was doing but he went to stab me and I stopped him.

“I just gripped his hand and never let go. I tried to grab his mask to see who he was. I didn’t want him to take anything. When I look back I could easily have been stabbed. ”

Her husband Sureshraj, 43, said: “She never gave him a chance to steal anything. I’m really proud of her.”

Ilyas, of Scott Road, Pitsmoor, Sheffield, admitted attempted robbery, burglary, four offences of theft and obstructing the police.

He was captured again on CCTV stealing twice from the till and pocketing cash at the city’s Aagrah Restaurant where he worked.

Ilyas also smashed a hole in the ceiling of the Mini-Market on Raby Street, Tinsley from a flat above.

He wore a mask but was further snapped by CCTV cameras with the top half of his face showing. He stole £2,000 of cigarettes, £1,200 in cash and caused £500 of damage.

The court heard he also tried to steal spirits from the Tesco store on West Street, Sheffield, with a female. She got away but he was detained. Later that day he attempted to rob the Go Local store.

Six days later Ilyas shoplifted £400 of perfume from Debenhams at Meadowhall.