TERRIFIED shop staff have told a jury of the moment an armed robber threatened them.
Anthony Journet, 46, is on trial accused of committing a robbery at Co-op in White Dirt Lane, Clanfield.
Today the court heard Journet claimed ‘the police have got the wrong man’ following his arrest when a black plastic gun was found at his home two weeks after the robbery.
Giving evidence at Portsmouth Crown Court, shop team leader Charlie Hughes said he was behind the tills when the raider came in.
He said: ‘I turned around because I heard the door open.
‘I saw the defendant standing there and pointing a gun in my face.’
He added: ‘My first thought, I thought it was a joke, I was bit confused as to what was going on.
‘After he rushed behind the tills I realised it was real and it’s happening.
‘As I turned around while he was pointing a gun at me now, he said: “don’t do anything, this is a robbery, or I’ll shoot you”.’
Mr Hughes told the jury the robber had a ‘Portsmouth accent’.
‘I just stood there and let him do what he wanted,’ Mr Hughes told the jury.
The robber had a black ski mask covering his face and only his eyes were showing, Mr Hughes said, who was about two to three feet away from the gunman.
‘When he was coming through the till door he put the gun in his pocket because I didn’t see it after that,’ Mr Hughes added.
‘When he was stealing the cigarettes I took a quick glance to see what he was doing.
‘In the bag he was using there was a small wooden hammer.’
Mr Hughes added: ‘After he’d finished doing that he turned to me, stood right next to me, and said: “can I have all the money now?”.
‘Obviously I didn’t do anything, I stood there.
‘I opened the till and gave him all the tenners that were stored there.’
He said the robber asked him if there was any more cash - which there was - but Mr Hughes said there was not and shut the till.
CCTV footage played in court showed the robber waving the gun around before going behind the tills.
Fellow shop worker Stephen Brimble told the jury he stood near the entrance to the tills but the robber pulled out the gun and said: ‘get out my way’.
Another worker, Luke Gardiner, said all of the workers were ‘in shock’ after the incident.
Mr Gardiner, who said he played air soft and so recognised the gun was not real, said he heard the robber threaten Mr Brimble by saying: ‘I’ll blow your bloody brains out.’
Mr Brimble, who had stood in the robber’s way but then stepped back, told the jury he went out the shop to see the robber get into a red Nissan Micra parked across the road and drive away.
Another employee was also at the Co-op at the time of the robbery at 9.47pm on May 12 this year.
Prosecutor Colin Banham played CCTV footage from the shop, which showed the raider, in a hi-vis jacket, wearing dark gloves and a black balaclava, waving the fake gun around.
Opening the case yesterday, Mr Banham said: ‘One of the employees in the shop was brave enough to stand in the way of the door.
‘The robber waved his gun and threatened to blow their brains out if he did not get out of the way.’
The prosecutor said the robber made it out with a few packets of cigarettes and between £140 and £160.
Mr Banham added that police found a red Nissan car at the address of the defendant which he said matched the description of the getaway car from the robbery that a witness had seen.
In the car, officers found a hi-vis jacket and black grey gloves.
Mr Banham said: ‘The crown will not say they were the same gloves that the robber used but they are similar.’
He went on to tell the jury that officers found a black imitation fire arm in a rucksack under the defendant’s sofa.
A balaclava with a painted black front was found along with a black bag with a long shoulder strap that Mr Banham said was ‘like that carried by the robber’.
Journet, of Botley Drive, Leigh Park, is charged with robbery and having an imitation fireman with intent.
He denies both charges.
Questioning Mr Brimble, Hugh French who is Journet’s barrister, said: ‘It must have been a terrifying ordeal; our case is that the police have got the wrong man.’