This is the terrifying moment a female shop worker saw off a masked raider waving a gun by telling him – ‘don’t be SILLY.’
Brave Dawn Harris, 43, “held her nerve” when the dark-clad armed robber Alex Steffens, 23, burst into the store demanding cash, a court heard.
The defendant brandished a BB gun and pointed it at her, which cool-headed Dawn believed at the time was a real weapon.
And she later revealed a friend had told her she sent the raider packing empty handed by delivering a cutting line about the stupidity of his actions.
She said: “A friend who was in the shop at the time said to me that I told him ‘Don’t be silly’.
“Obviously I was a bit scared, but I just told him the truth.”
Working alone at night, Dawn also told Steffens that she had cashed up for the night and there was no money in the till.
Steffens was jailed for four years at Plymouth Crown Court who said she deserved “phenomenal credit”.
And the defendant’s own barrister called her “brave” while calling his client was “cowardly”.
Dawn added: “It just all happened so quickly. I did not really think about it until afterwards.
“Then I thought it was a silly thing to do.”
Steffens walked into Tucker’s Store in Plymouth, Devon, at 8.30pm on December 6.
He was wearing a dark hooded top, a baseball cap and a scarf over his face, a court heard.
Steffens, of no fixed address, then pointed the pistol at Dawn behind the till and demanded money.
He admitted attempted robbery and possession of a weapon with intent to commit an offence.
Prosecuting, Garth Richardson, said that a man in the shop at the time, a friend of Dawn, had also told him to leave.
The court heard that Steffens left empty-handed and ditched his weapon and the distinctive jacket he had been wearing.
But witnesses noticed he had a black eye and a damaged hand and the details were circulated.
Steffens was spotted by staff at a pub and he was arrested and immediately confessed.
Ed Bailey, for Steffens, said: “She [Dawn] remained extremely brave while he acted like a coward and bailed out. He acknowledges this must have been a terrifying experience and is now full of shame.
“He cannot fully explain the madness that overcame him when committing this extremely serious offence.”
Judge Paul Darlow said the defendant had previous convictions for “street violence and drugs”
He added: “Phenomenal credit must go to her [Dawn] for holding her nerve. She was understandably terrified.”
Dawn, who has worked in the shop a couple of nights a week for four years, had a week off at her home in Plymouth to recover from the shock.
The mother said she was back behind the till but admitted to being nervous.