A man who carried out three night-time raids at shops has been jailed for five years and ten months.

Andrew Thomas Smith, 26, of High Street, Mold, admitted two robberies at One Stop and Screwfix stores in Rhyl and an attempted robbery of Lifestyle Express at the nearby village of Dyserth.

Mold Crown Court heard he wore a balaclava and jumped over the counter at the One Stop store in Grange Road on December 8 while a woman was working.

Prosecutor Sion ap Mihangel said the assistant pressed an emergency button. Smith escaped in a car with £168 and stamps. The worker described being “unbelievably scared.”

Five days later he snatched £328 from Screwfix where two women were working. Mr ap Mihangel said Smith went drinking and gambling afterwards. One of the assistants said her ordeal had been “terrifying.”

On December 19, Smith rode to Dyserth on a motorbike. He wore his helmet, and carried a knife again, when he entered Lifestyle Express and demanded :”Money, give me the money.”

Simon Killeen, defending, said :”There was no actual violence used. The offences were of a swift duration.”

Judge Rhys Rowlands told Smith, who appeared on a video link from Berwyn prison in Wrexham, while counsel were on Skype, that the raids had a bad impact on victims.

He added: "There’s no alternative to an immediate custodial sentence and one of some length.”