A TERRIFIED shop worker is in shock after being threatened with a meat cleaver by a would-be robber.

The brave employee refused to hand over any cash despite being threatened with the potentially lethal weapon.

She stood up to the intruder despite fears for her own safety and was rescued from the frightening situation when her manager saw what was going on and chased the raider out of the Bournemouth shop.

The drama unfolded at Central Stores in Cunningham Crescent, West Howe just before 3pm yesterday and now officers are hunting the man, who attempted to rob the shop.

Tony Stark, Director of the chain of Central Stores, said: “He went in to the shop wearing a hoodie and a beanie and attempted to get some cash from the till by threatening a young lady with a meat cleaver.

“She refused to give him any money which was brave but not necessarily something we would advocate. The manager was in a back office and saw what was going on on the CCTV system so he ran out and chased him off.”

Police have described the suspect as white, possibly with suntanned skin, and aged around 20-25. He is more than 6ft tall and stocky and was wearing a navy hoodie and dark tracksuit trousers.

A Dorset Police spokeswoman added: “The suspect ran from the store towards Cunningham Place. This was a frightening experience for staff and members of public who were in the store at the time. We are appealing for anyone who witnessed the male before or after the incident to contact police.”

The shopping parade is in a residential area near a library and medical centre, and the incident happened just as parents were collecting their children from nearby schools.

Kinson South ward councillor Ben Grower said: “Obviously I'm concerned when these things happen in the ward and I do hope they are isolated. I've got every confidence that the police will be able to find out who is responsible.”

Fellow councillor Roger Marley said: “There's so much good going on that it's a shame when an incident like this happens. West Howe has got so many great things going for it.”

Anyone with information is urged to call police on 101 or the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111.

In a separate incident, police are also hunting a knife-wielding raider who attempted to rob the Co-op store in Bearwood