Malmesbury shopkeeper Andrew Carnegie thought he had breathed his last when he confronted armed robber Christopher Pike in the next-door jewellers last October.

Mr Carnegie responded after hearing shop assistant Alicia Bird scream as Pike, 30, of Devizes, threatened her with a knife with a seven-inch blade.

The two men grappled and, at one point, Pike had Mr Carnegie on the floor with the knife raised to plunge into his chest.

After receiving a Chief Constable’s Certificate of Appreciation from Chief Constable Patrick Geenty at police headquarters in Devizes on Monday, Mr Carnegie, who runs a lighting shop business,said: “I thought I was going to die.

“I was quite lucky that he chose to run off rather than stab me.”

Pike ran out of the store, County Jewellers in Malmes-bury High Street, and jumped on his motorbike, but Mr Carnegie ran after him and committed the bike’s registration number to memory so he could tell the police, who apprehended Pike.

At Swindon Crown Court last month Pike, formerly of White Horse Way, Devizes, was jailed for eight years for the Malmesbury robbery and a number of other similar offences.

After Mr Geenty presented the certificate, he said: “Mr Carnegie has just said to me that anyone would have done what he did, but I’m damned sure not everyone would have done the same thing.”

Present to see Mr Carnegie receive his award were his wife Adele and son Charlie as well as his mother Pauline and stepfather David Leek. But unbeknown to Mr Carnegie, his father Brian had also made the trip, from Looe in Cornwall, to see his son honoured.

At Monday evening’s ceremony there were long service and good conduct medals for Sgt Donna West, Sgt Sean Brady, PC Jerry Wilkins and PC Wendy Jane Mason.

Denise Lumby received a Chief Constable’s Certificate of Merit for her work on the Bluez’ n’ Zuz youth discos while PC Paul Bezzant was commended for his work on Operation Arcadia against anti-social behaviour in Swindon.

Maxine Oakey and PC Matthew Barnett received a judge’s commendation for their work on Operation Derby, against Class A drug dealers in the county.