Teenager's terror at gunpoint robbery: but discarded beer can condemned 'idiot' Shane Ellis
THIS is the terrifying moment a teenage shop worker was held up at gunpoint.
Robber Shane Ellis, 27, went into a store with his face masked and threatened the 18-year-old shop assistant, making her hand over £400 in cash and boxes of cigarettes.
Police caught Ellis using his DNA, after he drank a can of beer and dropped it on the floor before going into the shop with the imitation firearm.
Hull Crown Court heard the girl was left terrified and unable to speak after the robbery. She has since dropped out of her college course.
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In her victim impact statement read to court, she said: "I was shocked and frozen to the spot.
"I thought he was going to shoot me. I still have flashbacks of it. I've had to give up my college course since this happened."
The girl was working at the One Stop Shop in Flamborough Road, Bridlington.
Ellis entered the shop with the gun hidden down the front of his jeans and placed a carton of milk on the counter.
He gave her some loose change and when the girl opened the till to take his money he pulled out the gun, pointed it at her and said: "Give me the money."
He then demanded she hand over packets of cigarettes as well.
Prosecutor Mark Kendall said: "The girl was numb and unable to speak. She was in panic. She felt at risk that the defendant could shoot her.
"She had no idea how many packets of cigarettes she put in the bag because she was so scared. The defendant said 'that will do' and left.
"It is perhaps a level of her shock that in her statement she believes she placed the notes from the till into the bag when the CCTV shows the defendant did this."
Another member of staff, who was unaware what had happened, found the girl "in shock, white and shaking" after the robbery.
Mr Kendall said: "The girl kept saying he had a gun but was not making sense.
"Her colleague pushed the panic button. It took a long time to calm her down and she was still upset when she went home at midnight."
After the robbery, Ellis went to his mother's house and gave her a bag containing the gun, clothing, cash and cigarettes.
Detectives recovered the beer can he had dropped outside the shop and found his fingerprints and DNA on it.
The following day, armed police went to Ellis' home in Alexandra Drive, Bridlington, where he gave himself up.
They also found a small amount of cannabis on top of his cooker.
Officers went to his parents' home and recovered the bag and the clothing worn in the robbery, which his mother had since washed.
Ellis told the police he had been drinking cheap cider and said: "I've been an idiot."
He has now pleaded guilty to the robbery, which took place at 10pm on October 16, and to possessing cannabis.
His solicitor Jo Golding said: "He went in hooded, he cannot explain why, save to say he is deeply, deeply sorry. He accepts it will be a lengthy custodial sentence."
The Honorary Recorder of Hull and the East Riding, Judge Michael Mettyear, jailed Ellis for five years.
The judge told him: "This is a serious matter that you face.
"You went into these premises, you clearly gave it a degree of thought, although it may have been thought befuddled by drink.
"You steadied your nerves by having a further drink.
"You produced an imitation revolver. It looked and felt real and no doubt only somebody experienced with firearms would have felt confident in saying it was not a gun.
"Clearly, this girl was very shocked with what occurred here. Having produced the gun, you pointed it at her and put your hand across to keep the till drawer open and proceeded to help yourself to cash in the till.
"When you asked her for cigarettes you still had the gun in your hand and you got some cigarettes from her.
"Such offences committed on vulnerable premises are always regarded by the courts as serious offences because they so often have tremendous impacts on their victims. This girl has suffered a great deal as a result of what happened."