Norwich butcher says it will take a “miracle” to reopen his shop after it was destroyed in an accident

 Heartbroken Maher Ben Elwaer outside his shop Norwich Halal Butcher in Magdalen Street as he comes

Heartbroken Maher Ben Elwaer outside his shop Norwich Halal Butcher in Magdalen Street as he comes to terms with the devastation after a car crashed into it. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

A city butcher has today said it would take a 'miracle' to reopen his shop after it was destroyed in an accident.

The crash on Magdalen Street

The crash on Magdalen Street - Credit: Archant

Maher Ben Elwaer (pictured) claims to have lost about £45,000 in earnings after a car ploughed through the front window of Norwich Halal Butcher.

The 30-year-old suffered multiple injuries following the accident on Magdalen Street in August.

It is understood that the driver had suffered a medical emergency and passed out at the wheel.

Mr Elwaer, who was forced to close the shop due to the damage, now fears he will not receive any payout from the driver's insurance.

Inside the shop Norwich Halal Butcher in Magdalen Street after a car crashed into it. Picture: DENIS

Inside the shop Norwich Halal Butcher in Magdalen Street after a car crashed into it. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

He said: 'It has got worse. The insurance [company] has made its investigation and is satisfied I am not entitled to anything whatsoever. I can't really describe the way I feel at the moment. I am totally gutted.

'At the moment, I am drowning deeper and deeper in debts from suppliers and utilities. There is not much I can do about it and that is very depressing.'

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A letter from Prudential to Mr Elwaer's solicitor said that from the evidence it had so far, it would raise a defence of automatism against all claims.

It means the driver cannot be held responsible for their incident because they had no conscious knowledge of their actions.

 Heartbroken Maher Ben Elwaer outside his shop Norwich Halal Butcher in Magdalen Street as he comes

Heartbroken Maher Ben Elwaer outside his shop Norwich Halal Butcher in Magdalen Street as he comes to terms with the devastation after a car crashed into it. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

However, a statement from UK Insurance - which underwrites Prudential's policies - said it had not made a final decision on the incident.

Mr Elwaer, who has a five-year-old son, said it would be difficult to re-open his business again.

The accident happened just months after he had spent £25,000 refurbishing the shop, which swallowed up all of his savings.

While he had paid for building insurance, Mr Elwaer said the contents of the shop were not covered.

'You have your own business and you're successful,' he said. 'And in a blink of an eye you have lost everything and it is totally not your fault.

'I feel like is that my whole life has gone upside down. It is going to take a miracle to build this business back.'

Mr Elwaer, who is originally from Tunisia, thanked the community who had since rallied around to help him.

He said two of his regular customers had raised £175 for him through a collection.

Mr Elwaer had been leaning on his display counter when the white Citroen DS3 burst through the front of his shop.

The force of the impact sent him flying backwards into a wall, while his feet were trapped underneath the counter.

It left him needing hospital treatment for soft tissue damage to his neck and back, and bruising to his feet.

Since then, he said he wakes up in agony every morning, and requires painkillers and physiotherapy once a month.

In regard to the insurance payout, a spokesman for UK Insurance said: 'We have not made a final decision on this incident and are working hard with our policyholder and the relevant authorities to bring our investigation to a close.

'We take our customer, contractual and legal obligations very seriously and will be in contact with all parties involved as soon as our investigation is complete.'

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