United Kingdom

Moment car is deliberately reversed into barber shop in 'targeted attack'

A defiant barber has said he is 'not going anywhere' after a car was deliberately driven into his Newcastle shop in a 'targeted attack'.

Steven Leck, 43, had finally reopened Legends Barbershop last Monday after months of lockdown - but had just six days of business before the site was severely damaged.

The barber was relaxing at home on Saturday night after a long week when he received a phone call from his landlord at around 10.30pm alerting him to the wreckage.

CCTV from the shop shows two men in a silver Honda Civic driving up to the shop on Elswick Road, in Benwell, West End of Newcastle, before ramming into it.

On the footage, one man can be seen getting out of the car to move a plastic barrier around some roadworks, 'so they could get a clean shot,' Mr Leck said.

The car then reverses straight through the shop's shutters before driving away from the scene. It was later found burnt out on Whitehouse Road.

'It sticks out like a sore thumb that the shop's been targeted,' Mr Leck said. 

'They don't even try and rob it. It was a targeted attack to wipe our shop out.'

Mr Leck, who has had the shop for 16 years, said: 'In that time I've had phone calls from people saying they want to buy the shop and I've said it's not for sale.

'I've not had one for a while - this is probably why. They're trying to get us out of the shop.' 

CCTV footage shows the car appearing to line up with the Legends Barbershop in Benwell, West End of Newcastle, before reversing into the building at speed 

On the footage, one man can be seen getting out of the car to move a plastic barrier around some roadworks, 'so they could get a clean shot' before driving into the building

He continued: 'I'm annoyed because I've had the shop for over 16 years and we've struggled terribly over the past two years - my dad died, we had a burglary, then all the closures because of Covid.

'Monday was hopefully the start of forgetting about it, and this is just a massive spanner in the works. The shop's in a complete mess.'

But defiant Mr Leck said: 'I've got some structural engineers coming to tell me if the building's safe - if it is I'm going to open the back door, if not I'm going to put a chair in the street.

'I'm not backing down for anybody, I'm not going anywhere.' 

Steven Leck, 43, (pictured) had finally reopened Legends Barbershop last Monday after months of lockdown

The shop was only open for six days before the site was severely damaged by the car

Defiant Mr Leck said: 'I've got some structural engineers coming to tell me if the building's safe - if it is I'm going to open the back door, if not I'm going to put a chair in the street.'

The business owner, who also has barber shops in Whickham and Lemington, said he had been overwhelmed with offers of help and support since Saturday.

He said: 'I've had messages from hundreds of people who want to help us with repairs and things, many of them people I've helped out in the past.

'This is why I would never leave, because there's so many good people in the area. It's made me even more determined.

'It's made me quite emotional seeing how much the community means to me and how much I mean to them.'

A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: 'At around 11pm on Saturday we received a report a vehicle had collided with a premises on Elswick Road, Newcastle, causing significant damage.

The barber was relaxing at home on Saturday night after a long week when he received a phone call from his landlord at around 10.30pm alerting him to the wreckage

'The vehicle has then made off from the scene.

'An investigation into the incident was launched and the vehicle believed to have been involved, was later found burnt out on Whitehouse Road in Newcastle.

'Enquiries remain ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact police using the Tell us Something page on our website, quoting log 1374 170421 or alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555 111.'

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