A SHOP owner has described his family's terrifying ordeal after three masked men threatened his wife and daughter-in-law with a gun and an axe.

The three suspects barged their way into the Guide Post shop on Brampton Road, Wombwell, at about 6.45pm on Monday January 13.

Store owner Keith Dyer, 64, was in the adjoining residential premises when the robbers struck. His wife and daughter-in-law were in the shop.

He said: "I remember hearing raised voices and just assumed it was a customer getting a little angry. I went over to find out what was happening and walked in to find a man standing over my daughter-in-law with an axe.

"At that point the man raised it further above his head before bringing it down on a microwave just above her.

"As the attackers moved into a back room, I managed to run outside and raise the alarm. Thankfully no-one was physically hurt but the ordeal has left us all shaken."

Detectives are now appealing to the public for information after the robbers made off with the till and a quantity of cigarettes.

The till was recovered the day after the robbery in a field near Wentworth.

Detective Constable Darren McConnell, from Barnsley CID, said: "This was a violent attack on a family who were simply trying to make a living.

"The sight of three masked men barging their way into the shop must have been terrifying and someone somewhere will know who is responsible."

The man carrying the suspected firearm was aged between 23 and 26, about 6ft tall, of slim build, and was wearing a dark hooded top and grey bottoms.

The second man, who brandished the axe, is about 5ft 8ins tall and of stocky build.

The third suspect was about 5ft 8ins tall. All were both wearing dark clothing.

Witnesses or anyone with information is urged to call South Yorkshire Police on 101, quoting incident number 895 of January 13, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.