Brave butcher thanked after fending off machete-wielding thieves in Selsey

A Selsey butcher who put himself at risk when he defended an independent business from armed burglars has been gifted a designer jacket for his heroics.

Utopia Designer, in High Street, fell victim to efforts of two burglars who smashed their way into the shop on Tuesday, October 5, before making off with more than £4,000 of stock and leaving more than £10,000 of damage in their wake.

Devastating though the burglary was, thieves were thwarted in any attempts to grab yet more stock when Alan Emery, a butcher from Barnyard Butchers next door, heard the commotion and took the decision to investigate.

Alan Emery with his new jacket

The thieves began to flee the shop but not before allegedly threatening Mr Emery with a 'machete or large knife' — now the grateful owner of Utopia Design has handed Mr Emery a designer Stone Island jacket, worth £380.

Shona-Lee Wood, 29, said: "He was so amazing that night. I feel like he just needs to be recognised for it.

"I just thought, 'he deserves it' — he was blown away. When he went over to the shop he didn't know what he was going to discover.

"I turned up and I didn't know what happened and he explained that it looked like they tried to use a machete on him.

"When he heard the bangs from the glass breaking he instantly ran down to see what was happening. He could have stepped back and walked away, but he didn’t.

"We are really grateful but he could have got really hurt that night.

"We are just terrified now of anything like this happening again. There was £15,000 of stock that could have been taken so the fact that he prevented that from happening is pretty incredible.

"Since we have had the break-in we haven't been able to put stock out, not because we don't have it, but because the display has been ruined. We are losing days of business."

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