Dorset

Dorset Little Chef worker tells of armed robbery

A woman who was tied up by two armed robbers at a Dorset roadside restaurant has told of the moment a gun was pointed at her.

Joy Winch, manager of Little Chef on the A31 in Winterborne Zelston, and chef Heather Viner were tied up in the raid on Thursday morning.

Ms Winch said she managed to break free and raise the alarm before the men escaped with money and Ms Viner's car.

Dorset Police are appealing for witnesses to the raid.

Panic alarm

The women arrived at the restaurant, near Bere Regis, at about 0630 BST and were about to make a cup of coffee when the Balaclava-clad men burst through a back door.

"The next thing we knew these guys were sticking guns in our faces," Mrs Winch said.

"I just said, 'you're having a laugh, you're joking', and when they pushed us to the floor and tied us up we obviously believed they weren't."

Ms Winch had difficulty putting her arms behind her back after recently having surgery.

"He was shouting at me to put my arms further back and Heather shouted out 'she's got bad arms'.

"Because he couldn't tie as tight as he could, I managed to get my hands free.

"While they were trying to look around for things I pushed the panic alarm.

"He shouted at me to get back down and I just lay there."

'Playing a joke'

The men fled in Ms Viner's Honda estate car, which was found at the nearby Botany Bay pub.

Both women were taken to hospital as a precaution but were uninjured.

The restaurant was closed while police carried out an investigation.

"I was angry, the fact that they could have done it and the fact that we were tied up," Ms Winch added.

"The fact that we both went in together it helped us get through it.

"I honestly thought it was somebody playing a joke."

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