Exmouth mum foils hammer-wielding robber’s evening raid - by punching him in the face

PUBLISHED: 15:53 11 February 2019 | UPDATED: 16:26 11 February 2019

Have-a-go hero Daisy Mitchell, who fought off a hammer-weilding robber in Exmouth. Picture: Callum Lawton

Have-a-go hero Daisy Mitchell, who fought off a hammer-weilding robber in Exmouth. Picture: Callum Lawton

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A heroic mum-of-two fought off an armed robber by punching him in the face after he grabbed her by the throat.

Daisy Mitchell outside McColl's on Exeter Road Exmouth. Ref exe 07 19TI 9990. Picture: Terry IfeDaisy Mitchell outside McColl's on Exeter Road Exmouth. Ref exe 07 19TI 9990. Picture: Terry Ife

Gutsy Daisy Mitchell, from Exmouth, was caught up in the terrifying ordeal last Tuesday evening (February 5) when a masked assailant demanded she hand over the doors keys to McColl’s, in Exeter Road, after she had locked up.

The 26-year-old, who manages the shop, was grabbed by the throat by the man, who was wearing a scarf across his face, and threatened with a claw hammer.

Instead of complying, Mrs Mitchell – who only started work at the shop in October last year – pocketed the keys and threw a punch, hitting her attacker square in the face.

After stumbling back, the man snatched Mrs Mitchell and her colleague’s shopping bags before fleeing.

Daisy Mitchell in McColl's on Exeter Road Exmouth. Ref exe 07 19TI 9987. Picture: Terry IfeDaisy Mitchell in McColl's on Exeter Road Exmouth. Ref exe 07 19TI 9987. Picture: Terry Ife

Police are now hunting the assailant, who they believe is linked to another armed robbery two days later at Central Convenience in Withycombe Village Road.

Mrs Mitchell said: “I had just finished locking up and when I turned around, this guy was on me.

“He had a massive hammer and was shouting ‘give me your stuff, give me the keys’.

“He had me by my throat, pushed against the shop window with the hammer in my face.

“I grabbed my keys, put them in my pocket and punched him with my left fist. “He stumbled back, had a bit of a wobble and then snatched my shopping bag before running up the road near The Park pub.”

Mrs Mitchell said her knuckles were ‘put out of place’ and some of the tendons in her hand were damaged, but vowed she would act the same should a similar situation happen.

“I thought ‘he’s going to hit me with this hammer’ so I had to hit him first.

“I wasn’t scared, but thought if he hit me with the hammer, that’s me gone – it would be a fatal blow.”

Following the confrontation, Mrs Mitchell praised McColl’s for ramping up security at the shop. Her employer also bought her and her colleague flowers.

Detective Inspector Simon Davey said: “We are currently investigating two reports of armed robberies in Exmouth.

“The offender in both incident is reported to have had his face partially covered with a scarf and was in possession of a hammer.

“These incidents are currently believed to be linked and we’re appealing to the public to help identify the offender.

“He is described as a white man of medium build. He was wearing a black ski jacket, grey bottoms and a light colours baseball cap with a grey and red checked scarf.

“I’d urge anyone with information and anyone who was in the area that time and saw anything suspicious to come forward and speak to us.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 quoting CR/011104/19.

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