A WOMAN whose attempts to rob two Wrexham shops floundered when staff chased her away has been jailed for three years and four months.

Kayleigh Doughty brandished a knife and donned a pair of tights over her head, then burst into the Hungry Inn Takeaway in Caia Park, demanding cash from a shop worker.

But she fled empty-handed and then turned her attentions to a Co-op store next door, only to meet even more resistance as staff pushed a stand and a cart at her forcing her to beat a hasty retreat.

Doughty’s offences were described as “extraordinary” as she had hailed a taxi to take her from her home just a couple of hundred yards away to the shopping precinct on Prince Charles Road.

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Jailed: Kayleigh Doughty

But while Judge Niclas Parry said “challenging life circumstances” had been the trigger for her to act out of character, she had instilled fear into the staff at both shops.

“It didn’t take you very long to cause real chaos and you put real fear into decent people.

"These people have been affected psychologically. It has affected their lives,” said the judge.

Barrister Anthony Williams, prosecuting, told Mold Crown Court that Doughty carried out the terrifying raids on the evening of March 19 last year.

At the Hungry Inn she wielded the eight-inch kitchen knife at staff member Fen Xin Chen, who was alone in the front of the takeaway at the time, and told her: “Open the till and give me the money.”

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CCTV caught Kayleigh Doughty clad in stocking mask wielding a knife at the Hungry Inn takeaway in Caia Park

“She (Ms Chen) was so scared she ran into the kitchen but the defendant was seen walking towards her with the knife raised,” said Mr Williams.

Doughty fled the takeaway when the woman’s uncle emerged from the back armed with a sous knife.

At the Co-op she held the knife over her head and shouted “Give me the till, give me your money” before a cake stand and stock cart were thrown into her path.

Store worker Robert Jones managed to push Doughty out of the door.

After removing her mask she got back in the taxi and demanded to be taken to the shops in Kingsley Circle nearby, but she had no money to pay the driver and made off down Gwenfro.

Doughty was arrested the following day after she was caught stealing at Debenhams’ Eagles Meadow store, punching the security officer in the face when she was apprehended.

But it was not until the following month that she was charged with the robbery offences.

Ms Chen said in a victim personal statement that she was anxious and scared after the raid, adding she suffered from bad dreams about someone trying to kill or cut her.

“I have to ask customers to remove hoods, hats and scarves when they come in,” she said.

Robert Jones at the Co-op said: “If I hear a loud noise now I panic. This has put me on the edge.”

Doughty, 29, formerly of Coed Aben in Caia Park, pleaded guilty to both charges of attempted robbery.

A psychiatric report was commissioned to examine her state of mind.

Defence barrister Mark Shanks said: “This was very much out of character.

"It is quite bizarre behaviour although she takes full responsibility for what she has done.

“What state of mind she was in at the time we will never know.”

Doughty’s distressed state was said to be contributed to by her daughter moving out and the death of her grandmother “who she was very close to”.

She was also using cocaine at the time which might have been a factor in her “spiralling downwards”.

“She was horrified when she saw it on CCTV,” said Mr Shanks.

“Thankfully nobody was hurt.”