A motorway service station worker who stood up to hooded thieves has received £36,000 in compensation for the injuries she received. Her case was funded by her trade union membership of GMB.

The GMB member was working as a night time forecourt cashier at Roadchef Motorway Services in March 2008 when she was attacked. A group of three hooded youths entered the store. One asked to buy cigarettes and as the member’s colleague opened the till another of the youths jumped over the counter.

The 69-year-old tried to remove the assailant’s hood for the CCTV cameras but he pushed her away causing her to fall backwards and hit her knee.

Her colleague managed to shut the till trapping the youth’s fingers. The raiders escaped empty handed.

Knee injured in attack

The member needed steroid injections to help with the pain in her knee and physiotherapy. As a result of the attack she has now been medically retired and suffers from arthritis.

The member had planned to work until 2011 to pay off her mortgage.

Following the incident she contacted her union which instructed its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for compensation.

Roadchef Motorway Services Ltd admitted liability after Thompsons was able to show that the firm had failed to ensure its employees were safe from this type of incident.

Employer should have provided extra security to protect them from attacks

Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary said: “These young thieves should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves. Our member was 69-years-old, but still she stood up to them. Her and her colleague were trying to earn an honest living, while these thugs were trying to make money the easy way.

“Roadchef should have provided extra security to protect them from attacks like this one. GMB is only too happy to have supported her claim and hope the company have learnt from this completely avoidable incident.”

Shivani Vadukul of Thompsons Solicitors added: “This member was forced to give up work much earlier than she had planned and now needs help around the home as a result of her injuries. It was foreseeable that the service station would be a target for thieves and Roadchef should have put procedures in place to make sure its employees were safe in the event of a holdup.”