A MAN said to have been drinking vodka as if it was water has been jailed for five years and eight months for robbing a Prestatyn shop and then driving the get-away car dangerously.
Paul Farrington, aged 31, was on early release licence from prison for an earlier robbery in Rhyl when he terrified two members of staff at the Londis store in Ffordd Isa, Prestatyn, on the afternoon of Sunday, March 9.
Mold Crown Court heard how he walked in and pretended to look in a fridge – but then ran at and punched a young man who was sitting at the counter, helping out in the shop.
He was pushed into a female assistant who was sitting on a stool, close to the till, knocking them both down.
Farrington of Rippleton Road in Manchester, was pushed away but returned and punched the young man in the face again, causing a suspected fractured nose.
He then grabbed an estimated £200 from the till and helped himself to cigarettes before he fled, jumping into a waiting car shouting “go, go,go".
The car was later seen at the dry ski slope in Llandudno and later, with Farrington behind the wheel, he drove far too quickly and aggressively at Rhos on Sea, forcing one woman driver who had a child in the car to make an emergency stop.
Farrington was arrested by police later the same day at a service station at Llanddulas where he stopped for petrol.
During the robbery, Farrington pushed a male assistant who fell against a female assistant.
Farrington punched the male victim repeatedly with a clenched fist and demanded in threatening and abusive terms that she should open the till.
When he was pushed away, the defendant again punched the young man as she frantically tried to open the till and begged the robber to leave him alone.
The woman was left crumpled on the floor and he suffered a suspected broken nose – and the terrifying incident had a long term effect upon them.
The victims told how the defendant had “big and glaring eyes” when he staged the robbery and repeatedly said in a quiet voice: “open the till”.
Mr Curtis played CCTV footage of the robbery in court and told how the female victim had been left hysterical by the experience and suffered nightmares and flashbacks.
The young man who was simply helping out was left frightened and in pain.
Anthony O’Donnell, defending, said that his client had been supportive of his partner after their baby was still born. He then visited friends in North Wales where he had been drinking “vodka as if it was water”.