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 holly.rummens@champnews.com
Tuesday, 23 July 2013 (3041002)
Shopkeeper set on fire by arson yobs
by Holly Rummens


AN ANFIELD shopkeeper has bounced back after a horrifying experience left him engulfed in flames when two arsonists torched his newsagent store.

Robinsons newsagents on Priory Road, Anfield was set ablaze last month when two men in hooded purple tracksuits poured petrol over the floor before setting it alight with a cigarette bud.

Now, Jude Jeevan has opened a new newsagents right next door to his old store today (Wednesday July 24) in the hope that he can re-build his life and get over his shocking experience.

Mr Jeevan spoke out about his ordeal and how even though he is feeling nervous about the new shop he feels the local community will help him get through it, he said: “At first I thought they were joking even when they started shouting racist words at me. But when they set fire to my shop, I thought this is really dangerous.”

Detective inspector Andy O’Connor said: “Two young men in sports gear ran into his shop, shouted something, then squirted an accelerant all over the shop floor.

”The shopkeeper ran from behind the counter to confront them and, as he did so, slipped on the accelerant, and fell forwards into the flames.“

The 48 year old was taken to hospital with serious burns to his arms and damage to his throat from the smoke.

Detectives were at first treating the attack as a race hate crime but say they are keeping an open mind.

Three days before the blaze a man was stabbed in the newsagent after an argument between two males broke out in the shop.

Mr O’Connor said: ”This is a seemingly motiveless attack. His shop is very well-used by local people and there is no obvious reason why his business would be targeted in such a way.

“Initially we treated the arson as a hate crime due to the racist language the offenders used when they were in the shop. However, we are now keeping a completely open mind as to why they have done this.”

“I am appealing directly to the people who live near this shop, use this shop, to please come forward if you have any information at all that could help us.”






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