Shop worker’s terror as robber pulls a gun

THIS is the dramatic moment an armed robber confronted a terrified shop assistant in Kessingland.

This CCTV image, released to The Journal by Suffolk police, shows heroin addict David Reilly inside the village's Costcutter store – threatening the woman with what appeared to be a gun.

Since the raid, the woman he confronted has been so traumatised that she has still not returned to work. But on Wednesday at Ipswich Crown Court, 23-year-old Reilly was jailed for two years after admitting robbing the shop in High Street, Kessingland, on Saturday, November 6 last year.

Patricia Doggett, prosecuting, told the court that the robbery happened after Reilly, who was wearing a woolly hat, went into the store at about 5pm while the woman was working alone.

After looking around, Reilly approached the woman and ordered her to open the till but she backed away after spotting what appeared to be a gun with a three to four-inch barrel protruding from his sleeve.

Reilly then opened the till himself and grabbed �300 in notes before running out of the shop,

During the robbery, a customer who walked into the shop also thought Reilly had a gun, the court heard.

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Miss Doggett said police officers went to the store in response to a panic alarm being activated and were told by a witness who was waiting at a bus stop that he had seen a red car parked outside.

Armed police and other units, including those in the Suffolk police helicopter, began a major search and 30 minutes later officers on the A12 spotted a car that fitted the description and followed it to Westleton.

Realising he was cornered, Reilly jumped out of the car and attempted to hide in nearby bushes but he was detained and arrested by armed officers, said Miss Doggett.

The stolen money and the hat and weapon used in the robbery, were never recovered but Reilly later told officers he had been carrying a piece of metal rather than a gun.

Reilly, 23, of Walnuts Lane, Wickham Market, also admitted possession of a small amount of heroin.

Warwick Aleeson, mitigating, said his client had been injecting himself with heroin at the time of the robbery and his life had been 'spiralling out of control' because of his addiction.

However, since the offence he had sought help and no longer took heroin.

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