A cashier has spoken of his terror as a gang attacked him with a baseball bat in a petrol station robbery.
Martin Day was sweeping the forecourt of the Hillcrest BP garage at Sowerby Bridge when he was confronted by three masked men and repeatedly struck with a baseball bat.
The stunned worker, who had locked the kiosk while he went outside in the early hours of the morning, struggled with the raiders but was forced to hand over the keys as they continued hitting him.
He was then bundled into an outbuilding and told to count as the shop was ransacked.
The raiders fled with a quantity of cigarettes.
As police appealed for witnesses to the robbery, Mr Day, 47, spoke about his ordeal - but vowed he would not be beaten by the thugs.
“I’ve never experienced violence like this. You see it on the TV all the time but in reality it’s much worse. I’m so annoyed that they continued to hit me as I was giving them the keys.”
“I used to leave the shop door open as I know 99 per cent of customers who come through the door but I won’t feel as safe without security now. I know when three men walk in I’ll be on edge.”
“You wonder if it’s getting worse out there or is it because I’m getting older?”
Mr Day, who has worked at the garage for over eight-years, said he had gone outside to sweep the forecourt as part of his usual routine and locked the shop door behind him, at around 2am on Wednesday.
He said the robbers appeared out of nowhere, grabbed him and and attacked him with a baseball bat as they fought to snatch the shop keys.
After an initial struggle, the robbers continued to attack the cashier as he handed over the keys. Mr Day, of Halifax, who suffered cuts and bruising, was then forced into the store building outside, and told to count as one of the men went into the shop.
He said the trauma of the attack had not yet sunk in.
“But I won’t give in. If I didn’t come back to work straight away, I might never come back at all. I’m a thick skinned Yorkshire man - I’ve worked in pubs and clubs and I’ve seen it all.
“Sometimes when things go wrong, I bounce around for three or four days but then it might hit me. If I carry on working I won’t have time to think about it and I can just try to block it out of my mind.”
A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said officers were investigating the robbery.
“Inquiries are leading us to believe that they were local and we are appealing for residents to come forward with any information.”
l Police are appealing for witnesses or anyone with information should call 01422 337087.