A KEY witness to a brutal attack says he has fled Eastbourne after being threatened at gunpoint.
The 47-year-old man says he was approached just outside the town centre on April 4 and asked if he had a light.
He told the Gazette that when he turned to reply, a bearded man in a dark hooded jumper and jeans stepped in close and pressed the tip of a seven-inch 9mm gun to his stomach.
The key witness said, “He told me, ‘I think you should retract your statement’,” before retreating.
The victim, who remains anonymous so as to not affect court proceedings, ran back to his flat in terror.
“I thought he was going to kill me. Not being crude or funny, but I was in the process of wetting myself,” he said.
In the build-up to the confrontation he claims he received anonymous phone calls from a silent caller and a text message saying, “Cummin (sic) for you. Best move quickly, rather than hiding away like a girl.”
On Saturday (April 9) he boarded a train to safety.
A police spokesperson confirmed the man had complained about being threatened.
She said the allegation was being investigated.
Police told the father-of-two he did not qualify for witness protection.
The key witness said police had offered to install security cameras on his house, fit alarms and give him a portable panic alarm.
But he said this was not good enough. “Oh that’s fine then! What do I have to do, wait until the guy shoots me, so you’ll be able to recognise the person who shot me?
“I even asked if they could arrest me just to be safe,” he said.
The 47-year-old, who moved to Eastbourne a few months ago, said he was leaving with regrets.
He was on the point of starting up a new business when he witnessed the attack.
He dropped the idea after his tormentors set about making his life a misery.
He had got himself a job and flat in Brighton, but he says police told him this was not far enough to guarantee his safety.
The police spokeswoman said he had been relocated.