Exmouth Tesco armed raider - exclusive victim interview
TWENTY-year-old Laura Jones s life was changed forever in just two minutes in January when Exmouth armed raider Scott Brown forced her to stare down the barrel of his gun when he held up the shop where she worked.
TWENTY-year-old Laura Jones's life was changed forever in just two minutes in January when Exmouth armed raider Scott Brown forced her to stare down the barrel of his gun when he held up the shop where she worked.
Today, knowing the mindless gunman is locked up for six years, the young Budleigh Salterton woman is hoping to draw a line under the trauma and panic he caused in those fear-filled moments when she thought she might die.
Laura, who still suffers from flashbacks and nightmares following her ordeal when Brown pointed a gun at her head, ordering to hand over cash from the tills at Tesco Express in Rolle Street, Exmouth, said she was determined Brown's actions would not ruin her life.
Since Brown thrust a gun into Laura's face, she has been unable to leave the house alone and has been keeping busy in a bid to block out the memories of the gunman's threats to shoot if she failed to handover the cash.
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She said she hoped to conquer her fears and regain her confidence now Brown has been jailed.
Laura said it was only when she watched police CCTV footage of the raid she realised how close Brown and the gun had been.
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She exclusively told the Journal how her legs and hands were shaking uncontrollably as she filled Brown's plastic bag with notes and coins from the tills.
When the gunman first walked into the supermarket, Laura's first reaction was the masked man was friend playing an elaborate prank.
But when Brown began shouting at her, threatening to shoot, and ordering shop manager Colin Stevens to his knees, she quickly realised the enormity of the situation.
Laura believed her life was in danger her after the bag holding the cash split, sending shoals of coins rolling onto the floor.
"I could just see his eyes and I could see the end of the gun," said Laura. "I didn't want to look at him but I didn't want to take my eyes off the gun.
"When he lifted the bag and it snapped, he got more and more agitated and angry.
"Maybe he thought I was trying to stall him.
"There was no other option going through my head than to give him the money. I didn't think 'it's not a real gun I am not going to give him the money'.
"I don't think anyone would say no to a gun. I thought it was real and I didn't feel brave.
"It doesn't feel like it really happened but it's shown me I can cope in a crisis.
"Now he has been jailed I can start to feel more settled, put it behind me and build up my confidence.
"I hope he has learnt from this.