Pregnant woman robbed at knifepoint

A pregnant shop manager was robbed at knifepoint in a Dereham off licence.The thief pointed an eight-inch meat cleaver at 23-year-old Gemma Diduca's stomach as he demanded the day's takings at The Local, in the town's Market Place, just before 10pm on Monday .

A pregnant shop manager was threatened at knifepoint in a raid on a Dereham off licence.

The thief pointed an 8in meat cleaver at Gemma Diduca's stomach as he demanded the day's takings at The Local, in the Market Place, just before 10pm on Monday.

Trainee manager Miss Diduca, 23, said: "I was starting to cash up my till and he came and walked around the shop. I went to close the till but he ran up to it and said, 'I want all the money'.

"I thought he was joking but then I saw he had an 8in meat cleaver about one foot away from my stomach."

Fearing for her 14-week-old unborn baby, she stepped away from the till and told the man to take the money. She added: "I was shocked. I just wanted to get my stomach away from the meat cleaver.

"When I stepped back, I could feel my heart racing but it wasn't until he left that I burst into tears."

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Miss Diduca, from Scarning, said that the robber was aggressive and she felt as if he had been watching her for some time.

She added: "He knew where the cameras were in the shop because he avoided them and he waited until the last customer went out of the door. I feel like he knew my routine."

The robber fled with about £300 and has left the staff at The Local fearful for their safety when they work alone.

Miss Diduca, who returned to work the morning after the robbery, said: "I am fine to be at work. I am more angry about it than anything.

"But we are having double cover now every night because no-one wants to work by themselves."

Miss Diduca did not see the attacker clearly as he had pulled a beige baseball bat over his face. He was between 17 and 20 and about 5ft 5in, wearing a stone-coloured fleece, dark trousers and white trainers.

DC Mark Barron said: "While our enquiries remain ongoing, we do have a number of strong leads. I am therefore appealing for the offender to come forward now as it would be to his advantage if he hands himself in before he is caught."

Anyone with information is asked to contact DC Barron at Dereham CID on 0845 4564567.