A widowed shopkeeper has been forced to give up her business – after she was stabbed in the same spot her husband was murdered.
Nirupa Patel believes she was lucky to escape with her life after she was beaten and slashed in the face by her alleged attacker at Moons Newsagents, Park Street, Luton, on Christmas Eve.
Six years earlier Nirupa’s husband Jashbhai was killed in an almost identical attack, as he was stabbed eight times by a robber in the doorway of the same shop.
Painful memories of Jashbhai’s death, and trauma from the attack on December 24 have now forced Nirupa, 56, to call time on her 33-year ownership of Moons Newsagents.
Her daughter Jaina told the Luton News: “It’s almost like history has repeated itself.
“We never got over the first incident and to be put back in that position is awful.
“We took the decision to reopen six years ago but now we have stepped back for our safety and sanity.”
Since the attack Nirupa has recovered and is back at home.
Her nephew was also injured in the incident.
Moons Newsagents has since been reopened, but is now under new management.
Six months after the death of her husband on June 14 2009, Nirupa made the brave decision to keep the family business going with the help of Jaina and son Amit.
Jashbhai’s killer, Richard Dettmer, was jailed for life in December 2009 and will not be able to apply for parole until May 2041.
On the morning of the attack Dettmer, of no fixed abode, stabbed a man he had been drinking with in Manor Road Park, Luton.
He then murdered Jashbhai as the 59-year-old opened his newsagents at 6.30am, before stealing around £20 in coins from the till.
The loss of the shopkeeper, who was affectionately known to locals as Mr Moon, is still keenly felt.
Jaina said: “My dad was a jolly character with a great sense of humour, people would just go into the shop to have a laugh with him.
“There are a lot of people still thinking of him to this date. Mum had a little shrine for him in the shop and every single day she would light a candle for him. Our memories never fade.”
She added: “For mum there is not only the physical effects of what happened to her, but also the emotional trauma with what happened to dad.
“This has also shaken a lot of customers who were hurt and upset about what happened.
“We are highly appreciative and feel blessed to have such great people in the community.”
> A 30-year-old man was arrested at the scene on December 24 and has since been charged with attempted murder and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.