Plucky pensioner swore at knife-wielding robber in Buckley store

Published date: 18 February 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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A FEISTY pensioner has told a jury of her reaction when a would-be robber, armed with a knife, told her to fill a bag with cigarettes and cash at the shop where she worked.

Catherine McArdle said she pressed the panic button and swore at the robber, a man she said looked like “a Goth”.

Giving evidence at a Mold Crown Court trial yesterday Mrs McArdle, 69, said “God forgive me, but I told him to p*** off.”

The robber then ran out of the premises at The Centre Point Store in Buckley when the alarm sounded, she said.

Kieron Morgan, 22, of Cilcain Road, Pantymwyn, denies a charge of attempted robbery in January last year and claims it is a case of mistaken identity.

Opening the case, prosecutor Emmalyne Downing said it was a Sunday afternoon when Mrs McArdle was working alone.

A man entered the store with his hood up. He stood with his back to her, showed her a knife, placed a plastic bag on the counter and told her to fill it with cash and tobacco.

“She swore at him and pressed the panic alarm. When the alarm sounded he ran away,” Ms Downing said.

Mrs McArdle was later able to pick Morgan out during a video identification procedure.

Giving evidence from behind screens, Mrs McArdle, a grandmother who will turn 70 in June, said she had worked at the shop for 10 years.

At about 4.40pm on the day in question she was working alone when a man entered.

She recognised him and went to get the tobacco she said he normally bought, before asking if she could help him.

But he turned his back, placed the plastic bag on the counter and told her to fill it, and he showed her a knife, which she said was a four-inch potato or kitchen knife.

That was when she swore at him and pressed the panic alarm.

She said that it was over in 20 seconds and she picked him out later because she knew him as a customer.

“I knew who he was, there is no doubt about that,” she said.

He had a Goth appearance and a clear complexion, but he was spotty.

She told the jury: “He put the wind up me to be honest. I just could not believe what was happening.”

It was surreal, she said.

When she later picked him out in the police station, she had said “that’s the lad, I am sure of it.”

She felt quite sick when she saw him. Challenged, she said: “I am not being dramatic. I am a grandmother. The last thing I want to do is get anyone into trouble. But that lad came in to rob me. It is wrong.”

She said that she had seen him twice in Buckley since and it had “taken all my strength” to come to court to give evidence.

Andrew Downey, defending, suggested she had made a mistake and had wrongly identified a customer at the shop as the culprit.

He said that his client did not use the tobacco that Mrs McArdle attributed to him.

The trial, before Judge Niclas Parry, is continuing.

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