This is the terrifying moment a gun-wielding robber left shop staff fearing for their lives in a St Valentine’s Day armed raid.
Masked raider David Parkin was wearing latex gloves when he burst into J&H Local, in Tempest Street, Silksworth, brandishing what looked like a handgun at 9.10am on February 14, Newcastle Crown Court heard.
The 37-year-old, who has 100 previous offences on his record, threatened two staff members and a customer.
Dramatic CCTV footage was shown of Parkin pointing what is believed to be an imitation firearm in the face of shop assistant Julie Wilson before chasing her along the counter as she fled to press a panic button.
He then turned his attentions to post office counter worker Marianne McVey, who cowered behind the safety glass.
Prosecutor Emma Dowling said Parkin also threatened a customer in the store and jumped over the counter, trying various cash registers before fleeing with a National Lottery terminal.
The whole incident has left me terrified – I was scared the male was going to shoot meShop worker
Mrs Wilson said in a victim statement: “The whole incident has left me terrified.
“I was scared the male was going to shoot me.”
She said in a further statement the day before sentence, that she had finally returned to work only last week, more than a month after the incident.
Mrs McVey said in her statement: “I was so scared. I feared for my life.”
Parkin, of Australia Tower, Lakeside Village, had previously pleaded guilty to possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear or violence and robbery.
He had been collared after he was seen on CCTV entering and leaving his black of flats wearing the same trainers and with the same bicycle as the robber.
Glenn Gatland, defending, said Parkin was sorry for what he’d done and said he had needed the cash to settle a drug debt after threats were made to his parents.
Jailing him for four years and 10 months, of which he will serve half, Judge Robert Adams said: “This was a prolonged incident in which you pointed, what they believed was a real handgun, at a number of people.”