Shopkeeper fights off masked armed robber

143812a'Tracey Williams who saw off a masked raider from her shop in the Market Vaults'Picture by Neil Silk'16/09/14
143812a'Tracey Williams who saw off a masked raider from her shop in the Market Vaults'Picture by Neil Silk'16/09/14

A woman has spoken of the moment she fought off a knife wielding masked man.

Tracey Williams faced down the man wearing a Scream mask as he tried to take money from her Market Vaults store on August 4.

The brave shopkeeper cut her hand as she grabbed the knife and pulled off the mask, made famous by the 1996 horror film, causing him to flee.

Last week 19-year-old Adam Timlin was sent to a young offenders institution for three years after admitting to trying to take money from Greenworld, a hydroponics and indoor gardening specialists.

Despite the terrifying nature of the ordeal Tracey remained calm and defended her store.

“I think the adrenaline took over,” she told The Scarborough News.

“At first I thought it was a prank. What with him wearing the Scream mask, then he jabbed the knife at me and asked me to empty the cash register, I thought that was a bit strange as it’s something you’d hear an American say rather than someone round here.

“He was jabbing the knife towards me so i went to grab the blunt side of the blade to push it away from me, it cut my hand and I grabbed for his mask so I could see his face.

“That’s when he ran off and I yelled ‘stop him he’s tried to rob me’ and two lads followed him.

“We called the police and they picked him up seven minutes later. He’d managed to change his clothes in that time.

“I wasn’t really scared during it all as I don’t think I had time to be.

“I just thought ‘you’re not getting our money’.”

When police caught up with him, they found an eight-inch, sheath-type dagger which he had thrown in a drain.

They took him to a local police station where he told them he had held up the store because he needed money to pay off a £1,500 cocaine debt.

He said he had left his home on the morning of the robbery carrying a knife, the mask and some fly spray to burn his clothes before discarding them in a bin.

York Crown Court heard that Timlin had previous convictions for offences including burglary, criminal damage, arson, theft and handling stolen goods.

Barrister Taryn Turner, mitigating, said Timlin had a drink and drug problem “and that is why he started this foolhardy expedition”.

Recorder Simon Kealey sentenced Timlin, of Abbot’s Garth, Seamer, was sentenced to three years’ detention in a young offenders’ institution and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £120.