Swindon AdvertiserWoman robbed at knifepoint by thugs (From Swindon Advertiser)

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Woman robbed at knifepoint by thugs

A PAIR of teenagers who robbed a petrol station worker at knifepoint, as her daughter listened on the phone, have been jailed.

Dylan Gaffey, from Royal Wootton Bassett, brandished a hunting knife at the cashier as he and Ryan Mills carried out the raid last summer.

And as the 17-year-olds left the store, Gaffey turned round and snarled ‘Ring the police and I’ll slit your throat’.

Tessa Hingston, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court how the offence took place at about 9.30pm on August 27 last year.

Half an hour earlier Gaffey had gone into the Murco garage on Oxford Road, Calne, to buy alcohol, she said, but was refused as he was drunk and had no ID.

She said Joanne Burton was working alone in the store when she saw two youths approaching with hoods down and scarves over their faces.

At the time she was on the phone to her daughter and put her mobile down leaving the line still open.

As the pair, both now 18, approached the counter Gaffey pulled out a knife with a four or five inch silver blade and pointed it about a foot from her stomach.

“He very aggressively said ‘empty the till; put the money in a bag,’” Miss Hingston said.

As she put the cash in, he demanded cigarettes be added to the haul as the other man stood just behind him.

“Just as they left the shop with the bag of cash and cigarettes Mr Gaffey pointed the knife at her and menacingly said ‘Ring the police and I'll slit your throat’.

“She said ‘This really upset and scared me as I thought they meant it’. She waited until they crossed the forecourt, pressed the panic alarm then continued her call with her daughter, who had already called the police.”

The victim said she was scared to go to work afterwards.

Mills was arrested nearby and following police inquiries Gaffey was also caught, though he lied about being out of town at the time of the raid.

None of the £491 in cash, cigarettes and tobacco have been recovered and Gaffey, of Cloatley Crescent, Royal Wootton Bassett, and Mills, of Broken Cross, Calne, both admitted robbery.

Alex Daymond, defending, said Gaffey was so drunk he could remember little of the incident and realised he was facing a lengthy jail term.

After a poor upbringing he said he had got involved in drugs and committed the offence to pay dealers.

He said Gaffey’s partner had just given birth to their first child by emergency section and both were poorly in hospital.

Baljit Somal, for Mills, said his client had not been the main player and there had been an amount of coercion to get him involved.

He said he had been in care and then moved to shared accommodation in Calne with people involved in drug and alcohol abuse.

Jailing them Judge Douglas Field said: “You went to this garage and there was a lady, a vulnerable lady, working there all on her own.

“You disguised yourselves, your hoods were up the parts of your faces were covered, and you went in there to rob her.”

He imposed 28 months on Galley and 24 months on Mills, saying he played the lesser role.

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