Staff relive their fear when gunman burst into shops

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JURORS have heard the terrifying moments when an gunman walked into several shops and threatened the staff.

David Parcell is accused of carrying out four armed robberies in a single day – December 22 last year.

A trial at Southampton Crown Court has heard how Parcell, of Nyria Way, Gosport, is alleged to have disguised himself in thick-rimmed glasses and a beanie hat when carrying out the robberies at Best One store in Sholing Road, LA Pizza in Deacon Road, Co-op in Tickleford Drive and McColl’s in Montague Avenue, all in Southampton.

The crimes took place between 2.30pm and 9.30pm, with the robber getting away with £400 from Best One and about £20 from LA Pizza, but he fled empty-handed from the other two.

Prosecutor Simon Foster told the court how Varoush Aghajani, the owner of LA Pizza takeaway, was at the front counter when a man walked in at about 8.30pm.

Reading Mr Aghajani’s statement, he said: ‘I saw he was holding a gun with a long barrel across his chest.

‘He said to me: “This is a hold-up.”

‘I said: “What do you mean?” and he said: “It’s a hold-up, give me your money.”

‘I said: “Come on, it’s Christmas and I don’t have much money in the till.’

The man then came around the counter and took the contents, about £20, the till.

‘I was completely in shock,’ Mr Aghajani added.

Mr Aghajani recalled the glasses as ‘looking fake’, whilst his colleague Gabriel Stevens, who saw the suspect leaving the takeaway, described them in a statement as ‘looking strange.’

In his statement, Adam Redding, a sales assistant at the McColl’s store, said: ‘He pulled his fleece up over his waist and said: “Can you see this?” I saw a gun in his waistbelt. He said: “Give me your till.”’

But when Mr Redding told the assailant that only the manager had the codes to do that, he fled with nothing.

Parcell, 41, was arrested later that evening when he was caught by police officers getting out of a silver Nissan Note, which had been identified on CCTV as being at the Best One robbery.

Parcell denies two counts of robbery, two of attempted robbery, and four charges of possessing a firearm with intent to cause harm or fear of violence.

(Proceeding)