VIDEO: Terrified Southfields shopkeeper fends off masked knife-wielding robber with stool
A terrified shopkeeper forced to fend off a masked knife-wielding robber with a bar stool after his attacker leapt onto the counter has received a letter sent from his assailant from jail.
Eamon McCluskey was about to shut up his shop outside Wimbledon Park for the night when Oluwatobi Ogunbanwo burst in, demanding cash before chasing him round the shop floor with a butcher's knife.
Shocking CCTV images show Ogunbanwo brandishing the knife as Mr McCluskey bravely tried to defend his livelihood.
Mr McCluskey grabbed a stool to protect himself, just as 22-year-old Ogunbanwo jumped up onto the counter of the family business and pulled the drawer of the till out.
Mr McCluskey’s 78-year-old mother was in the back of the shop and 'had the shock of her life' when she came to see what all the commotion was about.
Ogunbanwo bursts into McCluskeys with a knife
Brave Mr McCluskey defends himself with a nearby stool
Now the serial robber is behind bars after admitting four robberies and three attempted robberies across Merton and Wandsworth at Kingston Crown Court.
Amazingly the remorseful robber has written a letter to Mr McCluskey to apologise, stating he never intended to hurt him.
Ogunbanwo writes: "A hard working taxpayer like yourself deserves to be able to make a decent living without myself taking what is yours.
"I apologise for any distress I caused your mother or yourself and for any further damage caused ... Both my actions and behaviour towards you were cruel and I sincerely apologise."
The robber jumps over the counter to get his hands on the cash register
Mr McCluskey then throws cans and bottles at the thief who eventually gets away
Ogunbanwo raided McCluskey’s in Revelstoke Road, Wimbledon, on Saturday, February 1 - the third time in three years the small family business has been targeted by armed robbers.
Staff have previously been threatened at gun-point which led the family to install security locks behind the counter.
The locks were not being used on the night of this attack.
Eamon McCluskey at his shop after the attack
Mr McCluskey, 51, said: "I saw the knife as soon as he came in the door.
"He had a mask on his nose like a motorbike mask and he had a butcher's knife raised in his right hand.
"He came to the counter and I went to the security door to get out but he got there before I did.
"I thought 'I have to get out of here or he will kill me or do me harm.’"
The brave shopkeeper, who has worked for his family business since the age of sixteen, was in court for Ogunbanwo’s sentencing but was not allowed to see him in the dock.
He said: "I am glad he got eight years.
"It was a bit upsetting [in court] especially when they showed the videos. It was shocking to see it."
About £60 in cash was taken but it has since been recovered.
The robber's sorrowful letter to Mr McCluskey
Oluwatobi Ogunbanwo, 22, of Surrey Lane, Battersea, admitted four robberies and three attempted robberies.
He was sentenced to eight years in prison at Kingston Crown Court on Monday, March 24.
Mr McCluskey said: "I am glad it’s over now - time is a healer and everything is back to normal now."
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