A badly beaten Auckland dairy owner may be forced to sell his business or declare bankruptcy after receiving disconnection notices threatening to cut his store's power.
Jitesh Arora suffered severe injuries to his right arm as he heroically shielded his wife, Preeti Arora, during an early morning robbery at his Mt Roskill dairy on March 12.
He has until 5pm today to pay an outstanding power bill, or risk thousands of dollars in refrigerated stock spoiling.
Seven people entered the Crown Superette on Melrose Rd about 7.30am, armed with a baseball bat and crowbar before ransacking the shop.
"We'd just opened our store ... just after that seven people came in very fast and hit me. They didn't ask me anything, they just hit me. I just protected myself and protected my wife," Jitesh earlier told the Herald.
Jitesh suffered a severely broken arm as he blocked a baseball bat from striking his wife.
The businessman spent several days in North Shore Hospital undergoing numerous surgeries, leaving him with more than 200 stitches and unable to feel or use his right arm.
He has been unable to work or reopen his store, which he has operated from December 2015, since the incident.
Now, Jitesh is facing the prospect of selling his business or declaring bankruptcy after Nova Energy threatened to cut power to his store.
"It appears from our records that your accounts have the following overdue balances of $1029.97," an April 20 disconnection notice sent to Jitesh and obtained by the Herald read.
"We now request that you make a full cash payment of $1029.97 and email receipt of payment to us by Monday 24th April 2017 before 5pm to avoid your energy supply being disconnected on Wednesday 26th April 2017."
An Eftpos disconnection notice was also sent to Jitesh, informing him that further unpaid costs may result in legal action and a default on his credit rating.
Jitesh's brother-in-law, Raj Chopra, told the Herald both Jitesh and Preeti were collecting $344 each from ACC a week, but it was only enough to pay for household costs as Preeti continued to care for her husband at their West Auckland home.
"If the power is disconnected the claim will result in a much bigger loss in terms of stock," Chopra said, saying significant stock was still held in the store's freezers.
He said Jitesh has appealed to his insurance company to help cover the shop's overheads, or help pay for staff to manage the store until he is able to return to work.
He has also asked for an extension to pay the outstanding power bill but is yet to receive a response, Chopra said.
Jitesh is due to have further medical assessments on his arm in two days, to determine how much nerve damage he has suffered. He expects to be off work for several more months.
Police charged two teenage girls, aged 13 and 14, with aggravated robbery following the incident.
A Givelittle page was set up last month with donations going towards living expenses for Jitesh and his family.