CKs shop staff terrified by drug debt pair's raid
A PAIR of balaclava-clad robbers left two shop assistants terrified after running into a shop and stealing more than £900 to pay off a drugs debt.
David Miller, 22, and Nicholas Daniel, 24, had already been jailed once before for robbing the same shop, CKs on Swansea Road, Waunarlwydd, three years previously.
They committed the latest offence, on May 23, to pay off a £1,000 drugs debt racked up buying meow meow, Swansea Crown Court was told.
CCTV was shown of the two men running into the shop wearing black outfits and balaclavas just after 9pm.
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One of the pair, it is not clear which, went upstairs in the shop and found shop supervisor Denise Lloyd-Richards counting cash.
Ian Wright, prosecuting at Swansea Crown Court, said one of the pair told her to "give him the money".
"She moved backwards and held her hands up in front of her in a defensive action. He then took the coin tray and removed all the £20 notes before placing them into a black drawstring sports bag," he said.
He then took all the £5 and £10 notes before telling her to open the safe.
She repeatedly told him she could not open it because of a time-lock delay but he continued to ask.
He then gave up and made his way downstairs and found his friend who had targeted another member of staff, Carl Wilson.
The robber confronting Mr Wilson also asked him to open the safe more than eight times.
The pair eventually left the store with £908.08.
In a statement by Ms Lloyd- Richards read to the court, she said: "I was extremely shaken up by the incident and whilst no direct threats were made to me, being faced by a masked robber in a closed office was terrifying," it read.
She said she had struggled to sleep since the incident.
The pair were tracked down after a quick-thinking passer-by became suspicious of the men after seeing them in their getaway car.
"She (the passer-by) was suspicious because it was an early summer evening and they had hooded tops on and their faces were covered," said Mr Wright.
The pair had taken a gold Citroen Saxo which belonged to a friend's mum.
They had asked to borrow it so they could go home and get changed for a night out, but instead used it to get away from the shop and then dumped it on Carmarthen Road, Cwmdu.
After the robbery, the pair met friends in Swansea city centre, and admitted they had stolen the money to pay off debts.
Mr Wright told Judge Peter Heywood the pair had ben sentenced for three years in March 2009 after robbing the same shop.
In that robbery, the pair had used baseball bats and also caused damage to the shop.
Huw Rees, for Miller, of Hollett Road, Treboeth, said his client had committed the robbery to pay off a £1,000 drugs debt he had racked up after buying meow meow.
John Hipkin, for Daniel, of Login Road, Waunarlwydd, said: "The defendant's problem has been the use and abuse of meow meow, a drug which is causing major problems around the city."
Judge Heywood praised the shop's staff for their calmness and bravery and also praised the passer- by who wrote down the car's number plate.
"Small businesses like this are, in my view, always vulnerable to this sort of robbery," said the judge.
A jury had been sworn in to try the pair, but both changed their plea before any evidence was heard.
The judge jailed both men for three years and seven months each.