The centre of Stourbridge remains sealed off after the massacre that took place when sisters Betty Green and Pat Bonsall both tried to pay their lunch bill in Alberto's Cafe in the High Street yesterday. Police fear that the death toll may soon rise to over 30.
According to eye witnesses, the trouble began when Green, 71, began looking for her purse. Bonsall, 68, was then heard to say 'Don't be silly Betty, put it away,' and began walking to the till. Green apparently barged past Bonsall, insisting that it was on her this time and fishing for her pension money.
'It's always been the same with them, so I didn't take much notice at first,' said proprietor Alberto Luciani, who is now in a stable condition in the Corbett Hospital. 'They come every Monday, Betty has fish and chips and a cup of tea, Pat has a ham salad and a cup of tea, then they both try to pay. Normally I let them both pay and they're happy.'
On this occasion, however, the conflict escalated. Bonsall stumbled backwards into the kitchen from Green's shove, got up and punched her sister out of the way and proffered £100 in five pound notes to waiter Darren Walters. At this point Green pulled a large stick from her shopping bag and began beating Bonsall around the head.
'It really kicked off when Pat took those grenades out of her stockings and started throwing them at Betty,' added Luciani. 'Her eyesight isn't what it was and that wiped out a family of seven across the room at one fell swoop. The scramble for the £2,000 that fell out of Betty's purse must have accounted for at least ten more.'
Police and the fire service arrived too late to stop the restaurant and three more shops burning down, while a fleet of ambulances took survivors to hospitals across the West Midlands. Green was arrested at the scene and is being treated for stab wounds but Bonsall escaped on the 439 bus to Dudley. Poice have warned members of the public not to resist if she invites them to do up her front room and tells them to keep the change.