Santa Claus came dashing to the rescue when he chased off two masked robbers attacking a pub landlord. Dave Holden, who runs The Same Yet pub in Simister, was on his way to deposit his weekend takings at The Royal Bank of Scotland in Bury Old Road, Prestwich, Lancashire, when two men in ski masks confronted him near to the bank entrance at 9.50am on Monday.
A scuffle broke out and Mr Holden shouted for help. About 50 yards away, Simon Chapman was in a Father Christmas outfit in St Margaret’s Road, drumming up trade for the Hidden Gem Garden Centre, in Heaton Park. Mr Chapman sprinted towards the thugs, who ran off empty handed in a waiting BMW.
Mr Holden, who suffered a cut arm and a bruised knee in the attack, said: “It was a terrifying thing to happen, especially as it was in broad daylight and I’m lucky that I wasn’t more seriously injured. “I shouted for help and Santa came running.” Mr Chapman, aged 47, of Moston, said: “I heard Dave calling and shouted over at them, but they were ripping at his shirt like a pair of hyenas.
“So I ran over at them and they went back to their car. As they left, I shouted at them ‘I’m going to put you on my naughty list for this Christmas’.” Police say the two offenders were about 5ft 10in tall, aged in their early 20s, and spoke with Manchester accents. A third man, who was driving the car, dark-blue BMW 316 model, was described as black. Anyone with information about the attempted robbery is asked to call police.