A SHOPWORKER from Wrexham was robbed while waiting for the store to open in the early hours of the morning.
But the experience meant the victim eventually had to give up work, Mold Crown Court was told yesterday.
Craig Richardson, of Cilfan, Rhos near Wrexham, changed his plea and admitted the robbery charge on an earlier occasion.
Richardson, 25, was jailed for 16 months by Judge Merfyn Hughes QC, who said he had an appalling record, although he had changed his lifestyle in the last 12 months and had not reoffended.
The court heard at about 5.50am on November 19 victim Ryan Brimfield was simply waiting outside the Co-op in Market Street, Wrexham, his place of work.
The manager had not arrived, and the victim rode up on his motorcycle and then sat on his helmet having a cigarette waiting for the shop to open.
Richardson and a second man approached asking for a cigarette.
He refused and Richardson then asked to use his motorcycle to go and buy some drugs.
When he said no, he was asked for a lift and again he refused, said Anna Pope, prosecuting.
Richardson began to demand the keys and ended up striking Mr Brimfield to the face.
The victim protected himself and blocked two more blows but was struck on the arm.
He managed to get away but Richardson then stole his helmet and again shouted at him, asking for the keys.
When arrested, Richardson denied robbery, and a trial was due to be held in August. But he changed his plea.
Judge Hughes said Richardson did demonstrate a degree of empathy and an insight into the effect on the victim.
“He has been so affected by this offence that he eventually had to give up his job,” Judge Hughes told him.
Richardson himself now had good employment and had not committed offences for 11 months.
The robbery was unplanned, minimal force had been used and there was no weapon.
But it occurred at a time when Richardson was still drunk, and the robbery occurred in a street where the public were entitled to be without being assaulted or robbed.
Andrew Green, defending, said it had been an opportunistic offence.
Richardson was a young man whose offending had come to a full stop.
“He has spent the last 12 months carving out a new life for himself,” he said.
He had an excellent reference from his employers at a food factory and his home life had undergone a major change. He lived with his girlfriend and her daughter, he now rarely went out, and when they went out it was as a couple.
Mr Green said: “He is now a family man. He has quietened down."