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Elderly shopkeeper heroically fights off armed robber with her walking stick

THIS is the dramatic moment an elderly shopkeeper heroically fought off a robber armed with a metal bar — by repeatedly battering him with her walking stick.

Gran-of-three June Turner, 82, was behind the till of the newsagents she has run for 45 years when a thug stormed in demanding cash at 6.30am on Tuesday.

But the feisty pensioner refused to hand over any money and began going ‘hell for leather’ with her walking stick as he came behind the counter.

CCTV footage captured brave June jabbing the yob with the aluminium stick before clobbering him over the head as he went for the till.

After shoving the OAP to the ground, the intruder then fled AJ and J Newsagents in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, with just £50 and six packs of cigarettes.

June has now told how she was prepared to defend her family business ‘by any means necessary’ after the robber entered disguised with a blue blanket draped over him.

June, who uses a walking stick to get around after a hip replacement three years ago, said she was determined not to let the robber get away with their hard-earned takings.

Incredibly, she was back behind the till just half an hour later after being checked over by paramedics having suffered a black eye and bruising to her arm.

Mum-of-one June, of Hanley, said: ‘I acted on instinct, really. I thought, there’s no way he’s having the money we work so hard to make.

‘I wish I’d had something a bit harder with me, so I could have finished him off and knocked him out.

‘I don’t really know what was going through my head but I knew I had to defend our business by any means necessary. I was determined to protect myself and our shop.’

Don’t mess: June Turner armed with her walking stick PICTURES: SWNS

June said she thought it was a joke when the man walked in with a blanket around him with just his eyes showing.

She added: ‘I thought it was some sort of set-up but then he came up to the counter and said, “I want your money”.

‘I said, “You’re not having my money” and with that he came round the back of the counter and got some money from the till.

‘I saw him with a £20 note in his hand and then I couldn’t find the panic button so I got my stick and I really belted him with it. I went hell for leather on him.

‘Then he opened the cigarettes and they were all on the floor. I nearly had the shirt off his back but he pushed me to the floor and then he rushed out like the clappers.’

June, who used to work for a tile firm before taking over the shop in 1974, remained on the floor until a regular customer called Craig came in and dialled 999.

She said: ‘I shouted to Craig who comes in every morning that I was on the floor and then he rang the police and paramedics and then my son Alan came back from delivering his papers.

‘It was just my instinct to try to stop him and give him a good whack. I think he was quite shocked, he wasn’t expecting that. I bet he thought, she’s getting on a bit.

‘You can’t give way to them, but you do have to be careful in case they’ve got knives or guns. Its awful nowadays but you can’t give in to these people.

‘We work from 5am to 6pm seven days a week only to have some scumbag come and steal from us.

‘He only got away with some cigarettes and a bit of money, but I’d rather he got away with nothing at all and I wish I’d got a view of his face.

‘Apparently he was sitting on the step outside watching who was coming in and out and he came in after my son had left to deliver the papers.

‘He knew what he was going to do but he won’t be so lucky next time.’

June’s son Alan, 62, from Werrington, Staffordshire, said: ‘I’d only been gone about 15 minutes and when I came back I saw her on the floor.

‘I made her stay on the floor until police and paramedics arrived because of her hip. But once she was treated she was back in the shop half an hour later.

‘Watching the CCTV back made me very angry and she did appear to be shaken up a bit to me.

‘Her blood pressure was up but I think she was just more angry that she didn’t do a better job of it.

‘We found a metal bar on the floor which we think must have fallen out of his pocket and he also dropped his blanket which the police have taken away to examine.

‘She was very brave and I don’t think he’ll be back. I just hope nothing like this happens again and I’m just happy my mum is OK.

‘The police have been very proactive and we just want this guy caught now so he can’t target anybody else.’

The suspect is described as being white, aged between 25 and 30, with a slight blond moustache and wearing a black tracksuit.