A PROLIFIC offender was sentenced to four years in a young offenders institution after he stole money from Elliot’s Newsagents in Frodsham by threatening the 73-year-old shop worker with a machete.
Daniel Thomas Hayes, 18, of Coronation Drive, Frodsham, received three years and four months for robbery plus eight months for possession of an offensive weapon at Chester Crown Court on Tuesday.
Myles Wilson, prosecuting, said: “The 73-year-old woman was working at Elliot’s newsagents on Main Street, Frodsham, on February 16.
“The defendant, wearing a black tracksuit with his face covered, entered the shop at 8.30am brandishing a machete. No other customers were in the shop at that time.
“He pointed the blade at her face and said ‘get the money out of the till or I’ll kill you’.
“He then grabbed £200, together with two packs of cigarettes, and warned her not to call the police or he would come back.”
Hayes had already tried to book a taxi at a local firm but it refused as he had made off without paying in the past.
He ended up taking a hackney cab to a friend’s house in Kingsley.
“The taxi driver saw him take the machete out of his pocket,” added Mr Myles. “He was very quickly a suspect, particularly as he had also been boasting about it.”
Hayes, who has an extensive criminal record including burglaries and thefts and was also subject to an ASBO, initially denied the offence.
The shop worker was left traumatised by the incident and has not yet fully recovered.
Gareth Roberts, defending, said Hayes’s problems started when he was put into care at 15.
“He is clearly becoming institutionalised,” he said.
“He went from being a handful to a criminal very quickly and has not been educated or rehabilitated by previous detention orders.
“All that did was to introduce him to a greater variety of drugs and he was desperate for money to buy drugs that morning.”
Sentencing, Judge Roger Dutton said: “You have a substantial list of offences at only 18 years of age and what you did that day was extremely serious.”