A HOLYWELL shopkeeper has been praised for his courage after confronting a supposed armed man in a terrifying robbery.

Lee Griffiths, of Llys y Brenin in Holywell, appeared at Mold Crown Court on Tuesday morning via video link from HMP Berwyn.

The 37-year-old admitted at a previous hearing that on December 8, he robbed Gowreensan Perananantham of cigarettes and alcohol - the offence having taken place at MNS Late Shop on Holywell High Street.

Emmalyne Downing, prosecuting, told the court the victim was working arranging stock at the back of the shop at around 9pm when the defendant entered wearing a mask and hood.

He made his way towards the till after refusing to show his face and told the victim: "I'll pull the knife out - I'll pull the f****** thing out."


Mr Perananantham ran to the front door and locked it, calling his employer to let him know what was happening.

Meanwhile, the defendant took four or five bottles of vodka and cigarettes, then proceeded to leave via the front door.

When he discovered it was locked, he went into the back, unlocked another door and made his escape via a roof.

In his victim personal statement, Mr Perananantham said the incident was the second time he's been robbed and this made him very scared for himself and his family.

The fear was made worse by the fact the defendant passed close by the upstairs area where his family lives, the court heard, and caused Mr Perananantham to consider whether he could continue doing the job - as it "puts his family at risk."

The court also heard Griffiths had previously been convicted for theft and battery, which took place at the same shop and against the same victim in July last year.

Daffyd Roberts, defending, told the court: "We concede it's immediate custody but may he please have full credit for his plea.

"He has resolved to spend his time in custody constructively and wishes to make sure this is his last custodial sentence so he can be released back out into the community and be a parent to his children."

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Mr Roberts said his client aims to address his drink and drug use whilst serving his sentence, which he asked the Judge to keep as short as possible in line with the seriousness of the offence.

Judge Rhys Rowlands told the defendant: "You threatened to stab him. It was obviously a hollow threat because you didn't have a knife on you.

"But [Mr Perananantham] showed remarkable courage."

The Judge jailed Griffiths for 42 months.