A brave Southport business owner has told of the night she confronted armed burglars who smashed their way into her restaurant and bar – and sent them packing.
Natasha Daley was woken by the sound of the “zombie-like” pair breaking through a window with a paving slab.
Steven Lloyd, 43, and Leon Shaw, 45, broke into Ennelle’s Glass House in Bank Passage, off Lord Street, at around 4am on Tuesday, June 4, unaware that Natasha was sleeping sleep upstairs after staying late to do paperwork.
They attempted to open a jukebox with a set of keys but pulled out an axe and started smashing it to pieces when they couldn’t.
One of them tipped over a fruit machine and proceeded to smash that.
Natasha recalled the horror of the moment she saw what was occurring.
She said: “I looked at the CCTV cameras and could see two men trying to get into the jukebox with a set of keys. When it didn’t open one of them pulled out an axe out from his trousers and started smashing it to pieces.
“I could see the determination from him, he looked like an absolute maniac.
“The other man went off camera and all I could see on another camera was what looked like smoke - at this point I thought they had lit a fire.
“It turned out to be dust from where he had tipped over a fruit machine and was smashing it up.”
She added: “I dialled 999 as soon as I saw them on camera and stayed on the phone to the call handler for over eight minutes, as this is how long I was told the police would be but it felt like a lifetime.
“After about five minutes the two men moved to the next floor up; the floor underneath where I was.
“I really started to panic because I knew that once they found there was nothing to take from this floor, the next place they’d go was where I was and there was still no sign of the police.”
In the upstairs bar, one of the men took some bottles of spirits then tried to pull a TV off the wall. The other was walking around the opposite side of the building.
She said: “The next thing I saw was the flashing lights from the police and fire service driving past on the cameras, so I told the call handler to tell them to come back. Again this felt like a lifetime.
“Once the police were outside the building I can remember telling the 999 operator to tell the police to just break in because I knew that they were finished on the second floor.”
The raiders proceeded to walk down a corridor to the toilets, opening doors.
Natasha watched them on CCTV and her heart was racing as the next door was for the room she was in.
She said: “The call operator told me to barricade myself in the room but I didn’t have anything that I could pick up fast enough. I saw them kicking the door and the first thing I did was run to the window but I wouldn’t have been able to get it open fast enough because as I looked back at the camera and I could see the door going through and both men entering - one of whom was holding the axe.”
The only thing between her and the intruders was a set of stairs and she was hiding behind the next door.
The call operator told her to stay where she was but she thought she would be trapped in a room with two crazy men with an axe.
She said: “I don’t know what came over me but, I felt like I had no other choice but to confront them so. I opened the door and started screaming as loud as I could – from the bottom of my chest.
“As far as I was concerned I was screaming for my life.
“Luckily enough this deterred them both and they ran down the back down the stairs and out of the fire exit door and straight to the police where they were arrested. I ran straight out after them still screaming in pure panic.”
A police officer said that Shaw appeared under the influence of drugs and was “disorientated and unsteady on his feet”.
She heard something hit the ground as he dropped the axe and he also had gloves and cash in a bag.
Lloyd was detained by another officer. He was said to be sweating profusely and staring into space, “almost zombie-like”.
He had a rucksack containing bottles of alcohol, cash, gloves and two tablets, which he confirmed in Liverpool Crown Court were diazepam.
The pair plead guilty and were sentenced last Wednesday.
Lloyd, of Arlington Close, Hither Green, London, admitted burglary and possessing a bladed article.
Shaw, of Scarisbrick Avenue, Southport, admitted burglary and possessing an offensive weapon.
Lloyd confessed during questioning that he was a drug addict “with a two bag a day habit” and that he gave Shaw the axe.
He said he initially refused when Shaw asked him did he “want to do a graft” and later agreed after drinking more alcohol.
He has 11 previous convictions for 27 offences including theft, drug possession and burglary.
Shaw has 55 previous convictions for 142 offences including theft, drug matters and going equipped for burglary.
Natasha told the court the raid left her struggling to sleep, suffering nightmares and frightened of break-ins.
She and her partner have a young son and opened the bar “to do good for our family and community”.
Judge Potter who jailed Lloyd and Shaw for 20 months each said Natasha gave “powerful evidence” and had been left “extremely fearful”.
Judge Potter told the villains: “She and her partner have set up in good faith this business in Southport, to do good to the people of that town.
“You breached the trust and care that people had in that business.”