London, Feb 21 : A shopkeeper of Indian origin in UK could be charged with murder after an armed robber who tried to steal the day's earnings was stabbed with his own knife during a struggle.
Brave Tony Singh, 34, fought back when career criminal Liam Kilroe, 25, ambushed him, as he was about to drive home at the end of a 13-hour day at his corner shop.
Singh fought back and, after a fierce hand-to-hand struggle, Kilroe was seen by witnesses to stagger away clutching the knife to his chest.
Kilroe was taken to hospital, where he died, and police detained Singh. He is now waiting to discover whether he will be charged, and is on police bail until February 29 pending further inquiries.
Lancashire police confirmed that papers had been sent to the Crown Prosecution Service, which will decide whether Singh should be charged with one of three offences: murder, manslaughter or assault.
Singh, who suffered injuries to his neck and back during the struggle had to be treated in hospital, insisted that he had acted in self-defence.
The shopkeeper, who runs the Lifestyle Express general store in Skelmersdale, Lancashire, said: "I feel lucky to be alive. All I was doing was trying to stop myself getting hurt. The guy could have killed me."
"I have got some injuries to my face and I am pretty shaken up but, thankfully, I am OK and able to return to work. It could have been so much worse. If one of the wounds had gone one inch either way, then it could have been fatal for me," The Times quoted Singh, as saying.
Kilroe, of Billinge, near St Helens, who had convictions stretching back nine years, was in breach of bail conditions at the time of his death.
He had failed to appear in court to answer charges that he carried out armed robberies at a shop and post office with an imitation firearm.
In one raid a postmaster was hit over the head with a handgun but the robbers fled empty-handed. In a second robbery, at a general shop in Croston, Leyland, they forced a woman behind the counter to open the till at gunpoint and hand over 8,000 pounds.
Kilroe's trial was scheduled to go ahead in his absence earlier this week at Preston Crown Court until Judge Christopher Cornwall was told that the accused had died.