Cloud 9 owner Rodney Debenham has no idea why men carried out violent assault in his Upper Orwell Street shop
PUBLISHED: 06:00 29 September 2015 | UPDATED: 13:41 29 September 2015
A shop owner is mystified after two men violently assaulted him and his girlfriend at their Ipswich store on Saturday.
The men were demandingmoney but left the store empty handed when they were distubred by a customer.
Rodney Debenham had just opened Cloud 9 in Upper Orwell Street for business at 9am when one of the men who was later to attack him came in.
After making a purchase he said he would be back to get something else – and when he returned Mr Debenham was left in fear of his life.
“He asked to see a sheesha (oriental pipe) and as I was turned he got me in a headlock,” Mr Debenham said.
“Another gentleman walked through the door, assaulted my girlfriend and dragged her upstairs.
“He was asking for money while the other guy had me in a hold.”
Mr Debenham described the attack on him and his girlfriend, Sky Jennings, as “nasty”.
“If you look at the CCTV it is pretty powerful stuff,” he added. “I couldn’t breathe, there was nothing I could do.”
During the attack Mr Debenham said he could hear Miss Jennings screaming from upstairs.
Meanwhile, he was repeatedly kicked and punched, and feared he might die because the headlock he was in was stopping him breathing.
Both men left when a customer came into the shop but did not take any money or goods.
Mr Debenham said his girlfriend was left shaken by the attack and is now too scared to go anywhere on her own.
Police have released CCTV images of two men they are searching for in connection with the robbery.
The first man is described as white but with a tanned complexion, at least 6ft tall, of a strong build, aged in his 30s, with dark coloured hair.
He was wearing a black jacket and sunglasses when he entered the shop.
The second man is described as white, bald, shorter than the first man, aged in his 30s.
He was also wearing dark coloured clothing and sunglasses at the time of the attack.
Mr Debenham said he did not know the men or why they picked on his shop.
“I’ve never seen them around.
“Whether they’re just floating around trying to pick on vulnerable shops I really don’t know.”
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