Liverpool shopkeeper fights off armed robber with vodka

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Media captionShopowner Suranga Sooriyabandara, said he was threatened by a masked man wielding a knife

The moment a shopkeeper from Liverpool used a bottle of vodka to fight off an armed robber has been caught on CCTV.

Suranga Sooriyabandara, who owns a shop on Derby Lane in Old Swan, said he was threatened by a man wearing a red mask and wielding a knife on 8 August.

Mr Sooriyabandara said he grabbed the bottle off the shelf behind him and used it to knock the knife out of the would-be robber's hand.

The suspect then ran out of the shop empty-handed.

Mr Sooriyabandara said the incident brought back painful memories as he was friends with another man who was killed when working in a shop in Huyton two years ago.

"If anything were to happen to me, no-one would look after my wife and kids, that's why I grabbed the bottle to fight with him," he said.

A 37-year-old man from the Stoneycroft area has been charged with attempted robbery and threatening with a knife and is due to appear before Liverpool Crown Court later this month.

Mr Sooriyabandara's friend Mahesh Wickramasingha died after being stabbed in the throat in November 2011 by Sam Harrison.

Harrison, 19, denied murder but pleaded guilty to manslaughter at Liverpool Crown Court and was ordered to serve ten years in a youth offenders institution.

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