An Aberdeen woman told today how a masked knifeman who raided the shop she was working in had “ruined” her life.
Barry Kirton walked into Premier Stores on Sunnybank Road with a scarf over his face and pointed a serrated knife at shop worker Elma Thomson.
The 40-year-old made off on a red mountain bike with £136 and £60 of cigarettes following the robbery, which happened just before 10am on July 19.
After Kirton was handed a 21-month jail term for the offence, Elma hit out at the sentence, saying it was not enough.
The 58-year-old, of Tillydrone, said: “I think it is terrible he only got 21 months for that. He has ruined my life.
“I don’t go out any more, or if I do there’s always somebody with me because I don’t go out on my own.
“When I am out I am still watching out round about me and I never used to be like that. My confidence is gone and the fear is there.
“He walked in that day with a mask and a knife.
“I was down at the bottom of the shop and I thought he’d just gotten off a motorbike because I was crying at him and said ‘take your mask off in the shop’.
“He never did it and said to me ‘fags and cash’. I thought he was joking then I looked down and saw the knife.
“I’ve seen a doctor about counselling and I was off work for five or six weeks after it. I had to go on sleeping tablets and tablets for my nerves because every time I closed my eyes I could see him walking towards me.
“I had to come back to work because I need the money. I missed a month of direct debits so I’ve been trying to catch up with that. Why doesn’t he go and get a job instead of ruining people’s lives?”
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Aberdeen Sheriff Court was told the incident had a “traumatic effect” on the worker, who had to take time off to come to terms with what happened.
Kirton was caught later the same day when police attended a report of a “potential disturbance involving a man in possession of a knife”.
Kirton, a prisoner of HMP Grampian, pled guilty to assault and robbery and two charges of possession of a knife.
Defence agent Graeme Murray said Kirton was “extremely contrite about his conduct”.
He said his client had “gone off the rails” following the death of his mother and began using Valium to cope.
Mr Murray said Kirton was a regular at the store and was “horrified that he may have traumatised the lady”.
Sheriff Morag McLaughlin said: “I have seen the victim impact statement and clearly this has had a traumatic effect on this lady.
“Although she has gone back to work she has been significantly affected by this and has required time off.”