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‘I thought robber was going to set me alight’ says pub manager
A PUB manager last night spoke of his terror after a robber threw petrol over him and threatened to set him alight.
Stuart Robertson answered the door of the Corner House pub in Hollow Way, Cowley, Oxford, to what he thought was police.
But to his horror the 58-year-old was doused in fuel as the intruder demanded cash.
Mr Robertson said: “Someone was banging, they were shouting ‘armed police!’ so I opened the door and the next thing I knew I was covered in petrol and this man was screaming at me waving a lighter.
“All that was going through my mind was how he could have killed me and my partner.”
Mr Robertson lives at the pub with partner Jan Walker.
He said he feared for both of their lives after the robber doused him from a petrol can he was holding. He said he had no choice but to hand over the weekend’s takings.
The former print worker said: “It was over in about two minutes, but seemed to last forever.
There was petrol all over the place.
“It’s wood and carpet upstairs – if it had caught light, the building wouldn’t be here and neither would I.
“I just gave him the cash.
“If it was someone with a baseball bat in his hand you think you would have a go, but I was covered in petrol. It was like having a gun to my head.
“All I was worried about was Jan and protecting her.
“The locals here are fuming, they are really angry. We are just trying to serve the community by being here and then something like this happens.
“I didn’t have to go to hospital or anything, I was lucky in that regard, but I still have to think about what happened to me. It was painful.”
The pub lost between £1,400 and £1,500 in cash.
He added: “It’s the hardest time of the year for pubs anyway, and then something like this happens.”
Ms Walker was too upset to speak about the attack.
A 22-year-old man from Oxford was arrested on suspicion of aggravated burglary after the attack at 6.30am on Monday and has been released on police bail until February 25.
Thames Valley Police is appealing for witnesses.
Trainee Detective Constable Richard Josey said: “This is a deplorable crime in which the victim was threatened to be set on fire, after being doused in petrol by the offender.
“Thames Valley Police takes all crime very seriously and we continue to work hard to resolve this particular case.”
Anyone with information about the incident should call Trainee Detective Constable Josey on 101.