Fast food stall owner on A143 at Billingford speaks of fear during attack

A Norfolk fast food van owner has described how he feared for his life when three men attacked him and stole money from his till in a lay-by beside a dual carriageway.

Dave Penrose, who owns K and S Catering on the A143 at Billingford, said he was clearing up after finishing work shortly before 4pm on March 22 when two men burst in through an open rear door and grabbed him.

One of the robbers then hit him over the head with an unknown weapon causing minor injuries while the other man stole �190 from the till. A third man stood outside the rear door and the trio then escaped by car on the A143 towards Great Yarmouth.

The former scaffolder, who has had the stall for eight years, believed the attack, which lasted just 10 seconds, had been pre-planned as the lay-by was empty at the time of the incident and there was not much traffic around.

At the time of the attack, his van was parallel to the road with the rear door facing towards the carriageway, which he had left open to allow cool air in on a warm March day.

He was cleaning beside the rear door when the three men launched their surprise attack.

'To be honest with you, I nearly wet myself when they burst in, I was terrified. I have never been done before in the time I have been running this van. One of the men got hold of me and bashed me over the head with something. They said 'you're a mug.''

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Mr Penrose, who moved to Diss from London 12 years ago, said he had never had any trouble from any of his customers, who were mostly lorry drivers and they had been sympathetic when he told them about the crime, which lasted .

Since the incident, he has been especially nervous during quiet times when he looks out for any suspicious vehicles.

However, he has vowed to continue trading in the same location, adding: 'It is better than losing my life. I just have to knuckle down and get on with it again.'

He described one of the men as wearing a green bomber jacket and cream coloured trousers and believed the getaway car ran on diesel.

Anyone with information in relation to the incident should phone DC Kevin Simmonds at Thetford police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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