Saturday 22 October 2016

Petrol station owner beaten with batons during 'terrifying' robbery

Greg Harkin

Published 05/09/2016 | 17:05

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A petrol station owner beaten with batons during a “terrifying” gang robbery was back at work today vowing to carry on.

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James Bradley and his wife Bríd suffered head injuries during their ordeal and had to be treated in hospital for cuts and concussion.

Gardaí and the PSNI have launched a joint investigation into the attack which took place as the couple were closing their family-run shop on the outskirts of Fahan on Donegal’s Inishowen peninsula.

The three-man gang fled with a small sum of money and are believed to have driven to Derry.

“The whole thing was absolutely terrifying,” said 58-year-old James.

“It lasted a couple of minutes but seemed a lot longer.

“Three men came in. They were wearing hoodies. They smashed the till. I was hit on the head with a retractable baton and my wife was cut by flying glass as they smashed the place up.”

Mr Bradley praised gardaí and paramedics who were on the scene of the incident within minutes.

“They (the gang) got away with just a few pounds and some cigarettes but it was a terrible ordeal,” said James who lives with his wife next door to their family shop and petrol station.

“The guards and ambulance staff were brilliant, they were here very quickly and we were taken to Letterkenny hospital for treatment.

“But we’re back at work now. We won’t let this stop us serving the local community and keeping our business going.”

Gardaí spent several hours yesterday downloading CCTV footage of the attack.

They also have footage going back several weeks checking to see if the gang members had been in or around the petrol station prior to the pre-planned raid.

Garda Insp David Murphy said the suspects wore hoodies and scarves and carried retractable batons.

He said the gang smashed a window as the Bradleys were locking up for the night.

“They assaulted the owner a second time as they fled the premises,” said Ins Murphy.

He said gardaí are trying to trace a grey Nissan car seen in the area just before the attack.

All those involved were male in their late teens or early 20s.

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