A Lancashire retailer who was arrested after an attempted robbery in which a man died has spoken of his relief following a decision that he will face no charges.
Tony Singh, 34, from Skelmersdale, was attacked in his car by armed robber Liam Kilroe after closing his Lifestyle Express store in the town shortly after 9.30pm on Sunday, February 17. During the struggle Kilroe was fatally stabbed by a single blow to the chest with his own knife.
After being treated in hospital for serious knife wounds to his face, neck and back, Tony was questioned and released on police bail.
Lancashire Police referred the case to the Crown Prosecution Service and Tony had to endure a nerve-wracking 10-day wait to be told he would not be prosecuted.
Speaking to Convenience Store, he said: "It's a huge relief and a big burden off my shoulders, but it's something that will be on my mind for the rest of my life. I just want to get back to normal, but it's very difficult.
"Physically at least I'm healing, although the side of my head is still very painful. Mentally I'm not here, though. I'm always looking over my shoulder now and I'm very cautious of any new faces. I'm trying not to let it get me down and to get back into a routine at the store."
Tony said his wife and family were also very relieved and he thanked his neighbours, customers and fellow retailers for all their support. He added: "Shopkeepers have to go through so much and it's the kind of incident which could happen at any time. I've been touched by and really appreciate all the support. I feel very lucky to be alive. It could have been very different."
Serial offender Kilroe, 25, was granted bail last year despite calls for him to remain in custody after the collapse of his trial for two other robberies at Digby Post Office in the town and at a store in nearby Croston.
Valerie Limb, whose husband Terry was struck on the head with an imitation firearm during the raid on Digby Post Office in October 2006, told C-Store: "I feel very sorry for Tony and his family for everything they've been through. It's also dragged everything back up for us again. I'm amazed that someone with such a long list of convictions was free to do the same again."