Shock CCTV footage shows Flintshire shopkeeper attacked again by thieves


David Humphreys

A store owner who was left with life threatening injuries has been assaulted again while apprehending a shoplifter.

Just weeks after returning to work after being attacked by a man wielding a knife, Imtiaz Haq, 58, was thrown to the floor by a male who he attempted to stop stealing from his Costcutter store in Queensferry.

In December last year Mr Haq was the victim of a knife attack as he was on duty at the supermarket on Chester Road East.

He suffered serious injuries to his throat as a result.

Matthew Liam Whelan, 29, had previously admitted wounding with intent but denied attempted murder. But last month at Mold Crown Court, Whelan, of Willow Park, Gladstone Way in Mancot, admitted the attempted murder of Mr Haq.

He has previously admitted robbery.

Sentence was adjourned last month and Whelan was remanded in custody by Judge Rhys Rowlands pending the outcome of the trial of a co-defendant.

A mere five days later, Mr Haq, who was working alone in his store was assaulted when he attempted to apprehend three males who had tried shoplifting drinks cans.

He said of the ordeal: “I tried to stop them taking drinks and then I was thrown on the floor.

“I told them that they had to put the cans back but then they ran off.

“I don’t deserve this type of treatment in my own property.”

Mr Haq showed CCTV footage from the night of the assault, April 10, when three males enter the store and two of them take drinks from a shelf and attempt to conceal them in their trousers.

The shopkeeper, who only returned to work two months ago, is then seen attempting to prevent the alleged thief from leaving before a struggle ensues with Mr Haq being thrown to the floor.

He suffered minor cuts and bruises as a result, but was shaken up by the confrontation.

He said: “I'm just trying to safeguard my property. Is that not my right?

“How do I know I won’t be stabbed again?

“I pressed the panic button and I was trembling, I was so shocked that this could happen in broad daylight.”

Mr Haq, who has since closed the car park serving the store as a result of discarded waste from residents, said he had considered selling up.

“This is my bread and butter,” he said. “I can’t pay my rates and I’m struggling.

“Nobody deserves this. It shouldn’t happen in a civilized society.

“I can’t win, what can I do? I can’t afford to have any other staff in.

“When will police act? Next time I could be dead.”

A spokesman for North Wales Police confirmed they were called to the Costcutter store to reports of an assault and robbery just after 8.20pm on April 10.

No arrests have been made. 

See full story in the Leader

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