Spot the difference
All that protected me from a drugcrazed axeman was a flimsy wooden door...
My heart thumping, I stumbled to the CCTV monitor
Gagging from the stench of the toilets,
I took in the broken windows and filthy floors. ‘It was once the hub of the community,’ the estate agent explained.
Now, in August 2018, the run-down pub in Southport was derelict.
‘But it’s got potential,’ I said, to my partner Alex, 33, grinning.
He’d been encouraging me to open a pub for months.
I loved cooking wholesome grub, had always worked in restaurants and pubs.
But since our son Harrison, then 2, had arrived, I’d been doing office work and hated it.
‘We’ll help out,’ my dad Jason, 47, promised, and my mum Christine, 44, nodded.
So, excited, we took it on. We spent weeks scrubbing, decorating, scouring websites for cheap or free furniture.
Finally, in October 2018, we opened our doors.
‘Welcome to Enelle’s Glass House,’ I greeted the customers, beaming.
We soon had regulars, held social nights and salsa classes in the function room upstairs.
Alex and I took it in turns running the bar, the other looked after Harrison at home, a 30-minute drive away.
In June 2019, Mum and I stayed late doing paperwork.
‘I’m off,’ Mum announced around midnight.
‘I’ll stay and get this done,’ I told her.
There was a camp bed on the top floor, and with Alex and Harrison away with family, I decided to sleep there. So, after poring over
They walked towards the stairs leading to my room...
forms, I finally went to bed about 3am.
I’d just drifted off, when enormous crashes shook the floorboards. I sat bolt upright in bed.
My heart thumping wildly, I stumbled to the CCTV monitor.
All 16 of the pub security cameras flashed up on the screen – and I froze.
Two men, dressed in black, one with a cap and rucksack, were shaking the jukebox downstairs.
A window had been smashed, and the bar was covered in broken glass.
Suddenly, the man wearing the cap pulled an axe from his bag.
‘Oh, God!’ I whispered. With two whacks, he smashed open the jukebox.
Then he stuffed money into his bag, before moving on to the fruit machine.
The floor shook again as he battered it with his axe.
Terrified, I dived for my phone and, with hands shaking, I managed to dial the emergency services.
‘My pub’s being raided!’ I whispered to the operator.
‘Stay calm,’ he replied, taking my address.
‘I’m trapped!’ I hissed, jumping at every crash and thump.
All that stood between me and the axeman was two flights of stairs and a flimsy wooden door.
I looked around for something to barricade myself in, but everything was too heavy. I crept to the door and locked it. But that won’t stop an axe... I realised.
‘The police are eight minutes away,’ the operator told me.
By now, I could see on CCTV that both men were on the second floor, throwing tables and chairs around the function room. They were stuffing bottles of spirits in their bag, trying to yank the TV off the wall. Then they walked towards the stairs leading to my room. Running to the tiny window, I looked out into the pitch black. If I jump, I’ll die, I thought, panicking. But if I stayed where
I was, I could die, too.
Suddenly, one of the men was trying the door.
Then I heard his axe crashing against the wood. This is it..! I panicked. And then, suddenly, a sense of calm came over me. Hold it together, I told myself.
It was fight or flight...
Adrenalin pumping, I flung open the door – and screamed with all I had.
The two men looked totally stunned – like zombies. Shocked, they fled.
By now, flashing blue lights had flooded the bar area, and the men ran out and straight into the arms of the police.
An officer came over. ‘It’s over now,’ she said to me, soothingly.
But my whole body was shaking with shock.
Afterwards, I struggled to get to sleep, feeling nervous and on edge.
The pub was wrecked, too, and it took a week before we could re-open.
Soon after, in July 2019, Steven Lloyd, 43, and Leon Shaw, 45, appeared at Liverpool Crown Court.
Lloyd admitted burglary and possessing a bladed article, while Shaw admitted burglary and possessing an offensive weapon. Both had a string of previous convictions for drugs, burglary. The court heard they were heroin addicts, high on drink and drugs. They were jailed for 20 months each.
Now, I’m too frightened to be in the pub alone, but family, friends and the locals have been incredible.
Enelle’s Glass House is thriving once again.
Those low-lives won’t ruin all of our hard work.
They won’t ruin my hard work
They used the axe to smash the machines
L-R: robbers Shaw and Lloyd