MEN who robbed a Wrexham betting shop collided with another vehicle as they attempted to escape, a court heard.

Theo Mertakkas, of Huntsmans Corner in Wrexham, and Dominic Luke Pritchard of Prince of Wales Court in Summerhill, appeared at Mold Crown Court on Friday for sentencing.

Both had previously admitted an offence of robbery, which took place on February 20 this year.

Brian Treadwell, prosecuting, said on the evening in question the pair approached the Coral Bookmakers on Chester Road on a motorbike - 25-year-old Pritchard as a passenger and 27-year-old Mertakkas as the rider.

The shop was staffed on that night by Jordan Stringer, aged 23.

Pritchard got off the bike and entered the shop, handing a bag to Mr Stringer and demanding he put money in it.

He complied, fearful that violence might follow, before Pritchard demanded the contents of a second till be emptied - but it was empty.

Mr Stringer was told to hand over money from the safe, which he did before Pritchard left again.

He got back on the motorbike and the pair rode away - but collided with another vehicle at a nearby junction and ran, leaving the bike.

When police arrived at the scene they discovered the bike, which had no registration plates, as well as an imitation Glock air gun.

Officers also recovered a motorbike helmet.

Pritchard was linked to the gun and bike helmet by DNA and the bike was linked to Mertakkas.

In a victim statement Mr Stringer said the incident had knocked his confidence and had caused concern among the shop's staff about working alone at night.

Mr Treadwell said the shop had changed its opening hours as a result of the robbery.

John Wyn Williams, defending Mertakkas, said: "He is a young man and he instructs me that he was addicted to cocaine.

"He is now an 'enhanced' prisoner in Berwyn. He has used his time constructively and he is clean of drugs."

Philip Tully, defending Pritchard, said: "In the statement from the staff member he specifically said Mr Pritchard didn't threaten or use any violence - he demanded the money and [Mr Stringer] felt threatened by the demand.

"There's no evidence whatsoever that the weapon was taken into the premises or used as part of the offence."

He added Pritchard regretted the "stupid decision".

Mr Recorder John Philpotts told the pair: "You jointly committed what I regard as a serious robbery.

"You were wearing helmets to disguise your features.

"The employee was afraid, not surprisingly, that violence would be used.

"During your attempt to make good your escape the motorbike you were travelling on collided with a vehicle and therefore evidence was made available to the police."

Both men received a custodial sentence of two years and four months.