Noshers hold-up: He battered both of them

Struggle: Adam Bernholt’s shop. They didn’t even get a fishball, he said

Struggle: Adam Bernholt’s shop. They didn’t even get a fishball, he said

A fishmonger has described how he fought off a gunman during an armed robbery at his delicatessen.

Adam Bernholt was working alone at his Noshers Smoked Salmon Company shop in Edgware when two robbers came in, pointed a handgun at him and demanded money.

Mr Bernholt, who was 40 yesterday, said: "I was in the back and heard the door. One of the men was at the counter and I asked if I could serve him. He pulled the gun out and said 'empty your pockets and the tills'.

"I told him 'no' and he kept asking me. He came round the till. I thought the safest thing to do was to try to wrestle him. I wanted to get up close to him. He tried to overpower me and his friend came round the counter and grabbed one of our knives.

"I knew what I was doing, it's not the cleverest thing to do but I would not have been able to live with myself if I had become a victim."

After a struggle with the men Mr Bernholt managed to escape by throwing one man against the other. He ran from the shop and closed the door - leaving the pair trapped inside. His cries for help went unanswered by passers-by and eventually the two assailants forced the door open and escaped empty-handed after failing to force open the tills.

"They did not get a penny, not even a fishball," said Mr Bernholt.

"I did not have an adrenalin rush. I'd never imagined what I'd do in that situation but I was not just going to give in. But it did kick in when the police arrived and cordoned off the street. I thought 'they could have been doing this with my body lying there'. I was just really angry that someone would come in here and point a gun at me."

A dozen officers from the Flying Squad sealed off several streets. No-one was injured in the incident and so far the pair have not been traced.

Mr Bernholt said: "My wife was not happy that I stood up to them for the sake of a few hundred pounds, but I think men may understand it differently to women. This is my shop. You can't stroll in here and threaten me."

    Last updated: 11:19am, March 31 2011