Edinburgh sweet shop worker saves colleague from knifeman

A HERO sweet shop assistant bravely protected a petrified younger worker who was being held at knife point by an armed robber.

Manager Gloria Sichel, left, with staff member Alesha Wilks. Ms Sichel said she was "so proud" of how her workers had handled themselves during the incident. Picture: Neil Hanna

The robber barged his way into Candy Land in Gorgie Road at around 10.05pm on Tuesday night. Shop assistant Adjana Mason, 25, was only aware of the danger when her 16-year-old colleague screamed.

The man had brandished a kitchen knife in a heart-stopping moment and demanded money from the store till.

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Adjana said: “I immediately started to walk over and then she yelped, half-scream, half-fright, and leapt back away from him.

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“He was holding out the knife towards her. When I saw that I tried to calm him down. He was demanding everything out of the till.

“I agreed but said I wanted my colleague on my side of the counter so I knew she was safe. He just backed off and shouted at me.”

The suspect is described as white, 20 to 35 years old and of an average build. He was ­wearing dark clothing and gloves, spoke with a local accent and had a hood up obscuring his face.

He then turned his attention to Adjana – –allowing the 16-year-old to escape, and told her to empty the till so he could make a quick getaway. But Adjana had other ideas.

She said: “He then came towards me with the knife and I blocked his way.

“I opened the till and bundled up the money together in a way that it was going to stall him. When he picked the cash up, the money went ­everywhere. He went off his head, screaming and warning me that we better not be calling the police.

“He was panicking at this stage. He just grabbed the money that he could in his arms and ran from the shop. He ended up with around half the money – a few hundred pounds.” The suspect made off from the area, running east along Gorgie Road.

Adjana added: “It was not organised, it was a chaotic five minutes. You could tell he was freaking out. I was dictating how it happened and he was listening to me.

“It was pretty overwhelming and we were shook up afterwards. You just never expect it to happen to you. But it is a wake up call. Thankfully we’re both ok.”

Adjana was back behind the counter again yesterday with her manager, Gloria Sichel, 18, full of praise for how her staff handled the ordeal.

Gloria said: “I am so proud at how they managed such a difficult situation and kept their composure.

“I’ve spoke to them both privately and they know how much we appreciate their efforts. It is early days still but we are going to discuss how we can improve in the future to protect staff. I’m just glad they’re both safe.”

Inquiries are ongoing to trace the man responsible and anyone who can help identify him is asked to call Corstorphine CID via 101 and quote incident number 4261.