Owner of Spoilt Gelato admits he feels "targeted" after second attack on Starbeck store

A popular Harrogate business owner has admitted he feels he's being targeted following the second attack on his store in a matter of weeks.

Wednesday, 11th January 2017, 2:39 pm
Updated Wednesday, 11th January 2017, 2:51 pm
Joint owner of Spoilt Gelato Pajwa Mo (on right) with his daughter Laiqa (9) and joint owner Khuram Jahangir outside Spoilt Gelato in Starbeck.(1607253AM1)

Pajwa Mo, the owner of Spoilt Gelato, was forced to rush into the shop on Saturday morning after reports that the door had been vandalised.

When he arrived at his shop on Statbeck High Street, Pajwa discovered that vandals had smashed the glass door through at the front of the business.

The incident is the second time in eight weeks that Spoilt Gelato has been subjected to an attack after a robbery last November.

Damage at Spoilt Gelato

Pajwa was left £600 out of pocket when he discovered that thieves had slashed the marquee and stole two sets of tills from the shop.

A devastated Pajwa was forced to close the shop for three hours on Saturday to repair the damage and admits he feels he's being targeted.

He said: "I didn't really want to come in on that Saturday morning because I had just about had enough. I do feel that I'm being targeted.

"I don't know who it is that has got something against us. I don't believe it's racial but there are six shops here on this stretch and nobody seems to have had anything done to their property so it's a bit of a horrible coincidence.

Damage at Spoilt Gelato

"I'm not making millions from this shop, I've got my children to feed. I work on a wage and we haven't even got the marquee fixed from when we were broke into.

"It's upsetting because I always try to give people the benefit of the doubt but this is senseless."

Pajwa admitted that, following the two attacks, he is now "on edge" when he returns to his shop in the morning and is forced to check everything is still safe.

In July last year, Pajwa was subjected to a tirade of foul-mouthed, racial abuse as he stood outside his ice cream parlour with shocked customers having to intervene.

Following the attack, the Harrogate community rallied round the shop owner who said he was “overwhelmed” by the kind wishes and messages of support.

Pajwa revealed that, after the attack on Saturday, he has once again received hundreds of messages from concerned friends and businesses across the district.

Members of the public have now graciously stepped in to pay for a replacement glass window at the front of the shop as well as installing CCTV cameras for added security.

"We closed up on the Saturday and I went out and put my phone away while I was trying to sort my window out. When I turned it back on I had 200 messages," Pajwa explained.

"I'm only open today because of the good people. Because of the people who messaged me and have offered to help out.

"By Saturday I had had enough and I didn't want to get out of bed. I didn't feel like coming back in. But these people make me come back and I don't want to let the bad people win.

"I'm grateful for all these people. I'm grateful to everybody round here because they've been amazing to me."