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Iceland manager punched by well-meaning shopper while tackling women shoplifters

A supermarket manager was taken to hospital after being attacked by a well-meaning passerby as he challenged shoplifters trying to flee his store.

Jonathan Launchbury, who runs Iceland in Tolworth Broadway, is still recovering after being punched in the face trying to prevent two women stealing frozen food on Monday morning. According to witnesses, the unknown man intervened believing he was protecting the two women from attack, flooring Mr Launchbury. The brave store manager, thought to be in his 50s, managed to stop the pair stealing, but could not prevent them from getting away.

Worker Mathew De-Gannes, 23, confirmed his boss was yet to return to work.

A shop worker who asked not to be named said the manager took a pretty nasty blow to the head, and was not expected back at work for a while. A manager, stepping in for Mr Launchbury, said the store could not comment until they had spoken to head office. A Crown Prosecution Service spokesman said the passerby may still face assault charges despite his well-intentioned intervention.

A spokeswoman for London Ambulance Service confirmed the manager was taken to hospital with head injuries, though could not say if he had been released. Two people are still being sought for the theft. One man has been arrested for an assault which occurred in the car park, following the theft. He was bailed pending further inquiries. It is believed a number of shoppers were in the car park when the assault took place.jThey are asked to call Detective Constable Dave Norman on 020 8721 5842.

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