Sri Lankan family overcomes Samurai attacker, locks him in cupboard

October 2nd, 2008 - 7:40 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Oct 2 (IANS) A brave Sri Lankan Tamil family is being praised after overcoming a Samurai attacker in a shop in the British city of Bristol.Reports said attacker Andrew Speed, an 18-year-old drug addict, was shocked by the spirited resistance put up by the shopkeepers at their grocery store in Southmead, Bristol.

Speed even begged police officers to arrest him quickly to spare him from the family’s retaliation, a Bristol court heard this week.

Jailing Speed for three-and-a-half years for the June attack, Judge David Ticehurst said the self-defence of the staff was “entirely reasonable” given the terrifying circumstances.

Speed had burst in and leapt on to the counter before lunging at Rameshkumar Rasiah, the shop assistant, thrusting the 18-inch blade at him and threatening: “I am going to stab you. I am going to kill you.”

But Rasiah, 31, said to have recently arrived from Sri Lanka, grabbed him and the sword and called for reinforcements.

At the call, Rasiah’s sister Suragini Jeyanthan and her husband Nagaratnam Jeyanthan, who were upstairs, ran down armed with a broom and a metal pipe.

The three grappled with the robber for two minutes before bundling him into the store cupboard, and locking him inside.

When he was eventually escorted from the shop by police he pleaded: “Please, keep them away from me, I will not play up, get me out of here.”

Rasiah, who suffered cuts and bruises to his palm and elbow, said the robber had “picked on the wrong shopkeeper”.

“I was not backing down because I knew I had to protect the shop for my boss.”

Jeyanthan, who has a five-month old daughter, said outside court: “We don’t feel like heroes, we were protecting ourselves and our shop. I felt like closing the shop for good but now I think we will be staying because I feel we have the support of the community.”

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