Appeal for 'key witness' in Sunderland attempted robbery which saw shopkeeper fight off knife-wielding raider to come forward

Detectives investigating an attempted armed robbery in which a shopkeeper fought off a knifeman are appealing for a key witness to the crime to come forward.

Shortly before 6.30am on Thursday, September 27, police were called to Londis, in Lincoln Avenue, in the Silksworth area of Sunderland.

Ken Khaira, owner of the Londis store, in Lincoln Avenue, Silksworth, who fought off a knife wielding robber.

Ken Khaira, owner of the Londis store, in Lincoln Avenue, Silksworth, who fought off a knife wielding robber.

A man entered the shop wearing all black and with his face covered before he threatened shopkeeper Ken Khaira with a knife.

Ken had been opening up his store as usual when a masked man made his way around the counter and threatened him, demanding money.

Despite being faced with a knife, Ken, 63, kicked his attacker and chased him out of the shop.

CCTV video footage showed the shocking moment brave Ken refused to hand over cash.

The Londis store in Lincoln Avenue, Silksworth.

The Londis store in Lincoln Avenue, Silksworth.

The offender then fled in the direction of Westgate Avenue.

Echo readers heaped praise on Ken for his actions in the face of serious danger.

An investigation is underway as police look to identify the person responsible, who is described as white, aged in his 20s and wearing all black.

As part of ongoing enquiries, police have studied CCTV footage which shows a brief exchange of words between the suspect and the driver of a dark-coloured vehicle which drove down Lincoln Avenue shortly after the robbery.

Officers say they are now keen to trace the driver of the vehicle, who they hope may have key information that can help police with the investigation.

The witness, or anyone with information that could assist detectives with the investigation, is asked to contact 101 quoting log 160 270918 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.