It was recorded on CCTV and the assailant was caught, but the judge let him off on condition that he did some community service and kept off the drugs.
Only subsequently did Illa discover, through one of the villain's mates, that the police had handed back all his 'belongings' at the time of his release, which included £300 (half the money snatched from the till).
The couple have had a fight on their hands ever since to get an apology and compensation. The legal advisors at the National Federation of Retail Newsagents told them to report it to the Police Complaints Authority and in December the police did apologise and offered £400 on the understanding that the Patels would not go public with the story.
I strongly advised Illa to go to her MP Alan Duncan to get some officialdom on their side. She is worried about going to the local or national papers as the police may bear a grudge. What would you do?