A MAN from Whitchurch has spoken of his terrifying ordeal after encountering burglars at his place of work.

Jim Cotton, who works at Walkers Bakery in High Street, was opening up on early on the morning of Saturday, September 21 when he encountered three men already inside.

The gang spotted Jim as he stepped inside the building and when he attempted to stop them leaving, one of them punched him in the eye.

More frighteningly for Jim, a second member of the group said to stab him as they made their escape.

Although he was relatively unhurt in the attack, Jim says the encounter 'ruined his whole week'.

Speaking of the morning's events, Jim said: "I normally start at around ten to three in the morning and my two other colleagues start at a similar time.

"I've walked up the alleyway to go through the side door and I've noticed a Toyota Hilux type truck, that took my eye.

"So I get to the door and it's open so my mind's on the door but the bakery is in darkness.

"There's a light coming from the middle room, I'm thinking my mate is here. Then some person looks towards the door.

"He must have said 'there's someone here' and he starts walking towards me."

It was at this point that Jim was assaulted.

"I went to block them, I put my hand out half heartedly. I got a smack in my right eye," he added.

"As I was hit I went backwards into the alley and a second man said 'stab him', which really changed the dynamic.

"I'm thinking I need to get away. I went back down the alley but they didn't follow me.

"It happened quite quickly. I carried on working, but it ruins your day. It ruins your whole week.

"They said to me 'I know who you are, I know where you live', I think just to frighten me."

Meanwhile fellow colleague Rob Huxley described the scene when he arrived.

"I'm not convinced they knew what they were looking for," said Rob.

"When in the building they were looking for cash, you could tell by the way they had turned over the place.

"Obviously the most concerning thing is the assault on Jim.

"It's just bad luck really, if he'd been five minutes later he would have been fine.