Monday 19 March 2018

Worker stabbed with syringe in store raid

A member of the gardai outside the Spar store on James's Street, Dublin, where an attempted robbery took place, seriously injuring a staff member
A member of the gardai outside the Spar store on James's Street, Dublin, where an attempted robbery took place, seriously injuring a staff member
Signs of a struggle inside the Spar store on James's Street, Dublin

Nicola Anderson and Gareth Naughton

A SHOP worker is seriously ill in hospital after collapsing following an attempted raid during which he was stabbed with a syringe.

Jahanzaib Butt (30) collapsed in an unconscious state shortly after the robbery over the weekend at the Spar shop on James's Street in Dublin city centre.

It is understood that a masked raider armed with a syringe full of blood entered the store shortly before 10pm on Saturday and was making off with the contents of the shop till when he was wrestled to the ground by Mr Butt and another store employee.

They managed to hold the raider until the gardai arrived.

During the altercation, Mr Butt, the store manager, was stabbed in the head with the syringe.

The suspect, who was in his 30s, was arrested at the scene.

He remains in custody at St James's Hospital, where he is being treated for a leg injury.

Last night, family friends of Mr Butt said it was "touch and go" as he remained in intensive care.

Shortly after the arrival of the gardai, Mr Butt collapsed and was taken to St James's Hospital where his condition was described as serious.

Mr Butt, who is married and originally from Sialkot in Pakistan, has been living in Ireland for the last 10 years and has worked at the Spar shop for all of that time.


The store, closed off as a crime scene for much of yesterday morning, still showed signs that a struggle had taken place, with a charity box and packets of chewing gum strewn on the ground.

His cousin Adile Butt described Mr Butt as a "really good fella" and a very close friend who "never looked for trouble" and who loved his life in Ireland.

He learned of the incident after one of his friends had texted him the previous night, and had told him they had remained at the hospital with Mr Butt until 3am and that he was still unconscious until that time.

He said there had been no indication that his cousin had suffered from any underlying health condition.

"He was just trying to save the money for his employer when this happened," he said.

"He is a hard worker and liked his life in Ireland. He intended to stay here," he added.

Most of the shop employees of the Spar -- which is opposite the Luas stop on James's Street -- are, like Mr Butt, also from the small city of Sialkot and they are a tight-knit group.

Meanwhile, customers were shocked to hear of the injured shop worker, whom they knew well as a "wonderful guy" who ran a "great shop".

Local man Dara Carolan said he had often chatted with Mr Butt, who had been particularly good at handling difficult customers.

"He's a very nice fellow. He certainly didn't deserve this," he said.

Irish Independent

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