Knife-wielding robbers threaten to kill terrified pub landlord

PUBLISHED: 09:50 03 August 2016 | UPDATED: 10:20 03 August 2016

Landlord Frank Sprackman.

Landlord Frank Sprackman.

Archant

A terrified pub landlord from Worle feared for his life after waking up at 4am with a knife and hammer thrust towards his face and two men threatening to kill him, unless he handed over his money and possessions.

The CCTV footage from the incident at The Golden Lion.The CCTV footage from the incident at The Golden Lion.

Frank Sprackman, who runs The Golden Lion in High Street, woke up confronted by the men screaming at him to get money for them.

He was led downstairs into the pub at knifepoint and forced to open the safe, and handed over almost £10,000.

Mr Sprackman, who said he is still struggling to sleep after his ordeal, told the Mercury: “At this point I feared for my life.

“They demanded all the jewellery, watches and everything, and they took the keys for my Mercedes.

The CCTV footage from the incident at The Golden Lion.The CCTV footage from the incident at The Golden Lion.

“I was in the office cowering in the corner and they were screaming ‘what else is there?’ and jabbing the knife towards me. The knife was inches away from my face.

“They said they were serious and would kill me. It was a fear I never want to feel again.”

Mr Sprackman, aged 32, managed to lock the men in a bedroom while he had seconds to find a phone to call the police.

He said: “Unfortunately I had to trap my friend in there too, but he is a personal trainer and I knew he would be okay.

Landlord Frank Sprackman.Landlord Frank Sprackman.

“It gave me a chance to get to the phone, and I think that saved our lives.”

The men smashed through the bedroom door and pub door before leaving the venue.

They tried to leave in the Mercedes, but were unable to get it started.

Mr Sprackman, who has been in the pub trade for 19 years, said: “I cannot sleep at night. I am not the sort of person who is scared of anything.

“But any loud noise puts me on edge. I have to check all the windows and doors before I can even sleep. I can’t open a window even in this hot weather.

“Knowing they are still out there is the worst feeling ever.

“It is a traumatic thing I would not wish on my worst enemy.”

The incident happened six weeks ago, and Mr Sprackman said he felt the police paid more attention to a subsequent noise complaint at the venue than dealing with the armed robbers.

Paul Sprackman, Frank’s father, added: “Every pub in Weston is at risk from these people.”

A police spokesman told the Mercury they are still investigating following the aggravated burglary at 4.20am on June 13.

They said: “Specialist crime scene investigators have reviewed CCTV from the area and carried out house-to-house enquiries.

“Our enquiries are ongoing.”

Anyone with information can contact police on 101 using the number 5216128807.

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