News

Chester robber held up petrol station armed with a knife

Stephen Hynes has been jailed after leaving lone female cashier terrified for her life

The Gulf petrol station in Pasture Road, Moreton(Image: UGC)

A robber who held up a petrol station at knifepoint because of his desperation for drugs was jailed for four years and four months today (Wednesday, February 7).

Stephen Hynes of Chester demanded cash from the terrified lone female cashier who thought she was going to be stabbed, and she has been left badly affected psychologically and financially.

Hynes, 39, has previous convictions for robbery and Judge Alan Conrad QC told him that his record aggravated the latest offence.

“People who work in petrol stations at night are particularly vulnerable and it is terrifying for anyone working in that way to be threatened by an intruder with a knife to steal,” he said.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that Hynes, who has mental health issues, went to the Gulf petrol station in Pasture Road, Moreton about 8.15 pm on January 8 this year.

The assistant Amanda Evans saw him approaching and was suspicious about him. “He came into the petrol station and just stood there looking at her,” said Michael Stephenson, prosecuting.

“She asked if she could help him but he continued to stare and then produced a knife from his pocket holding it in front of him and said, ‘give me the money, I want your money now’.”

She told him he could have it and took the tray from the till which contained a single £10 note. He took it and walked towards the door and she pressed the panic button. He turned back, “really terrifying her”, and went to the counter, still holding the knife, accusing her of lying.

The assistant was shaken and offered him the coins from the till but he was not interested and walked away and the police were called.

Mr Stephenson said the victim had felt in control initially but the second time “she genuinely thought he was going to stab her”.

She had to take time off work and now works reduced hours affecting her income. Her moods and sleep have also been affected.

The court heard that Hynes voluntarily went to Blacon police station the next day and admitted what he had done.

He said he had bought the knife earlier that day to carry out a robbery. He said he had drunk three pints of beer and taken some cocaine and he wanted money to buy cannabis and more cocaine.

Hynes, of Eversley Park, Chester, who has committed 76 previous offences including two robberies, pleaded guilty to robbery and possessing a knife in a public place.

Mark Lever, defending, said that he had gone to the police the very next day and had been straight forward and co-operative with officers.

He has been a long term drug user and has mental health problems. He used drugs on a weekly basis when he gets his benefit money and that day he had been waiting for his money and after drinking decided to commit the robbery, he said.