CCTV stills of an armed, masked intruder have been released by police who are hunting a man after a knifepoint robbery.

A shop worker was punched to the cheek during the incident in Nelson.

Police received reports that a man entered Cost Savers in Cloverhill Road armed with a large knife.

He made threats towards the lone female member of staff and demanded that she open the till.

She was punched to the cheek during the incident, at about 2.40pm on Saturday, November 23, but fortunately was not injured, police said.

The offender, who was wearing a full balaclava and gloves, made off with about £400.

Police have released an appeal for information.

Detective Inspector Nikki Bithell of East CID, said: “Luckily the shop worker wasn’t injured but this has been an extremely traumatic experience for her. We need to find whoever was responsible.

“I would appeal to anyone who was in the area on Saturday and remembers seeing anything suspicious to please get in touch as soon as possible.”

The man is described as white, and about 5ft 7in tall. He spoke with a local accent and was wearing a grey coat and black pants.

He left the shop with a red carrier bag.

Anyone with information that may help should call police on 101 and quote log number 856 of November 23.