Relief at knifepoint robber being caught

A pregnant shop manager who was threatened at knifepoint in a raid on a Dereham off licence has spoken of her relief that the thief had been caught

A pregnant shop manager who was threatened at knifepoint in a raid on a Dereham off licence has spoken of her relief that the thief had been caught.

Gemma Diduca, 23, was working alone at the Local, in the Market Place, when David Maslen, 23, threatened her with an 8in meat cleaver and ran off with about £300 from the shop on January 29.

Police quickly caught Maslen, of Wellington Road, Dereham, and yesterday they released a picture of him.

Maslen, who pleaded guilty to the robbery, has been remanded in custody until he is sentenced at Norwich Crown Court next Friday .

Miss Diduca, from Scarning, said: "I am very glad this man has been caught and I can now get on with my life.

"It was really horrible what happened. I would like to thank the police for their good work and also all the very nice people in Dereham who have been very so kind to me.

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"My staff have been great. I have also had people bring me in flowers, and a lot of people have been popping their heads through the door to see how I am."

Alison Fenn, 35, who works at the shop and is from Toftwood, said: "It was all such a shock. I have worked here for 11 years and nothing like that has ever happened before.

"But thankfully the robber has been caught and it is all back to normal now."

Detective chief inspector Neil Firm said: "This was a particularly nasty offence which caused the victim a great deal of stress and trauma.

"As a result of some excellent work by officers the offender was quickly arrested and brought forward to face justice."