AN ARMED robber who terrorised an 18-year-old shop assistant with an imitation firearm has been jailed for five years for robbing the One Stop Shop, in Bridlington.
Hooded Shane Ellis, 27, borrowed his brother’s replica Colt hand gun and terrorised an 18-year-old shop assistant, pointing it at her face and saying: “Give me the money!”
Ellis, who has convictions for burglary and theft, was captured on CCTV drinking and smoking outside the shop moments before walking in and finding the assistant sorting newspapers, Hull Crown Court heard on Tuesday, November 13.
Ellis said “hello!” and approached her at the till offering to buy a pint of milk on the evening of October 16.
When she opened the cash draw to take his money, he produced the gun and began emptying the till of £340. He also ordered her to hand over £140 worth of cigarettes filling a carrier bag before telling her: “That’s enough!”
Crown barrister Mark Kendall said: “(The shop assistant) said she was shocked and frightened, but did not panic because she did not think it was happening. She said he asked for cigarettes, but had no idea how many she had given him.
“Another member of staff found her and she was white and shaking. She was saying he had a gun. She was not making sense. It took her a long time to calm down. She was still shaking when she went off shift later in the evening.”
Ellis got away on October 16, but armed police turned up at his flat to arrest him as he had dropped a can of beer he had been drinking with his DNA on it.
Ellis of Alexandra Drive, Bridlington, pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of an imitation firearm with intent to commit and offence and a charge of robbery. He also admitted possession of cannabis.
In a victim impact statement, the shop assistant said she had given up her college course since the robbery and still had flash backs.
Ellis’ defence barrister Joanna Golding told the court that when he was arrested by police he told them: “I am an idiot.”
When he saw the video he cried. He said: “Bless her. I have frightened the life out of her.”
Ms Golding continued: “He has written a letter to her. He says he cannot expect forgiveness, but he will still ask for it. He cannot offer an explanation why he did this. He said it was like some out of body experience.”
Ms Golding said Ellis was an alcoholic who had stopped taking his medication, and when he drunk cheap cider it went to his head.
Sentencing Judge Michael Mettyear told Ellis: “This is a serious offence you face. You strengthened your nerve with a drink outside before entering the shop with an imitation firearm.
“It looked and felt real. Only an expert with firearms experience would have known it was not a gun.
“The girl was shaking when you confronted her. You pointed the gun and put your arm across the till to keep it open and took the cash from the till. You pointed the gun at her again and asked for cigarettes.
“The robbery of vulnerable premises is always regarded as serious, because it has a devastating impact on the victim. It has to be a significant sentence because of the level of planning, the attempt to disguise yourself and the use of a weapon.”