Sheffield Crown Court heard on September 21 how Reece Cooley, aged 20, of Shaftesbury Avenue, Doncaster, raided the petrol station on Bawtry Road, Doncaster, on August 14.Recorder Keir Monteith QC said the offence was particularly serious and concerning because it happened not long after Cooley, who has previous convictions, had been released from prison on licence.

He added: “It was abundantly clear that your job was to abide by the terms of the licence and not commit any offences.”Cooley demanded the cashier open the till but when she refused to do so he pulled out an axe and went behind the till and grabbed cigarettes, according to Recorder Monteith.The court heard the axe caught the complainant’s clothing.Recorder Monteith added a colleague was alerted and Cooley fled as he came on the shop floor.The court heard police tracked down Cooley after he had tried to escape.Cooley admitted threatening the cashier but claimed he had not wanted to harm her and he expressed remorse and shame.The defendant pleaded guilty to robbery and to possessing a bladed article.Recorder Monteith was shocked to learn of the impact on the cashier.

He said: “She was scared, tearful and fearful of returning to work and she described how it has impacted her confidence.”However, he accepted Cooley had committed the offence due to problems the defendant was having with a drug-debt.Cooley was sentenced to three years and four months of custody.

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