Exmouth gun man - 'they feared he'd shoot'

THE people looking down the barrel of the gun thought any minute they could be shot.

THE people looking down the barrel of the gun thought any minute they could be shot." Judge Graham Cottle last week told Exmouth armed robber Scott Brown, before jailing him.

Exeter Crown Court heard how in January Scott Brown, of New Street, got away with �338 after holding a gun to the head of terrified cashier Laura Jones, 20, telling her 'I am not afraid to use this. I will shoot anyone'.

Brown, who admitted holding up Tesco Express, in Rolle Street, was told he would serve six years behind bars and three years on licence.

Judge Graham Cottle said Brown was a 'serious' risk to the public.

The judge said: "I am required by parliament whether you pose a danger serious harm to the public. I have no doubt that such a risk is present. You are an out of control individual."

The court heard how on January 26 2010, Brown walked into the Tesco store and up to the cashier, where he pulled out a gun, ordering her to hand over the money.

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Spotting shop manager Colin Stevens at the back of the store, Brown ordered him to walk towards him and kneel on the floor - threatening to shoot if his wishes were not obeyed.

Handing Miss Jones a bag, he told her to fill it with cash before 'calmly' walking back home.

Judge Cottle told the court Miss Jones was left suffering 'psychological damage' as a result of Brown's actions.

"Once the defendant has left, the cashier breaks down to her knees," the judge said.

"The female cashier thought her life was in danger. The CCTV footage shows how the female cashier drops to her knees in fear and hysteria."

The court heard how Brown had previous convictions for assault, affray, GBH and attempted robbery.

And the latest offence took place within a short time of Brown's previous release

Judge Cottle was told how Brown had previously wounded a man 'who was a stranger to him' during a 'scuffle' with a knife after breaking into his home following a disagreement.

Llewellyn Sellick, representing Brown, said his client had been forced to leave the Royal Navy for his 'chaotic drug taking' after becoming hooked on crack cocaine.

He told the court Brown had been deeply affected after discovering the body of his father shortly after the man had shot himself in the head.

Mr Sellick said the gun used by Brown during the raid had been an imitation weapon.

He said: "The weapon was not a real gun. Mr Stevens, the manager, certain his first impression was it was not a real gun. He thought it was BB gun or a spud gun."

Sean Brunton, for the prosecution, said: "The Crown has no idea whether it was an imitation or real gun, the gun was never found."

Judge Cottle said Brown's binge drinking and drug taking posed a 'serious risk' to the public when he was under the influence.