Thug points gun at barmaid’s head but then hugs her after she realises who he is

A traumatised barmaid had a gun pointed inches from her face by a thug who then hugged her and tried to lie his way out of trouble when she recognised him.

Yvette Smith thought she was "going to die" when Luke Jones pointed the weapon at her face while she cashed up at the snooker club where she worked, Wales Online reports.

CCTV shows the victim, alone in the bar, move a bag of rubbish behind the counter and then freeze in fear when she looks up.

A man in a balaclava then walks in the shot and grabs her wrists while pointing what looks like a handgun in her face.

The terrified woman tries to hold her hands up in front of her face when he lets go of her, before he abruptly rips off his balaclava and pulls her into a hug.

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The victim had recognised the voice of 29-year-old Jones because the criminal had previously quizzed her on the cashing up procedure at Bargoed Snooker Club in December, making her suspicious.

When he realised his plan was foiled, Jones attempted to tell his victim the attempted robbery was a "joke".

The shocking crime occurred in Emporium Snooker Club, in Bargoed, Wales, at 11.15pm on December 27 last year.

Cardiff Crown Court heard the thug was a regular at the establishment and got to know Ms Smith, even sometimes helping her out.

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But she grew suspicious when Jones started asking her about the cashing up procedure, which made her feel "uncomfortable" according to prosecutor Heath Edwards.

Describing the attempted robbery, Mr Edwards said: "The defendant waved the gun in her face. She thought it was a real gun she was being confronted with. They only stood feet apart.

"She recognised him and said, 'Why are you doing this Luke?' When she called him by the name he took off his balaclava."

The court heard Jones told her it wasn't a real gun and that he was only "joking".

Once he had removed his mask and gloves, Jones then began to console and hug Ms Smith. He also took apart the weapon to show her it was a BB gun.

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Jones fled the club and hid in the attic of his father's home only a few hundreds yards away from the club. Police officers found him and, after initially refusing, he came down 15 minutes later.

A statement given to police by Ms Smith said she was left "petrified" by the incident and has been prescribed medication to help her sleep.

"I'm absolutely petrified following this incident," she said. "I'm distraught. I do not know if I can work in the bar again. I honestly thought it was a real gun and I was going to be killed.

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"Even talking about it to the police is upsetting to me. I could not sleep last night as every time I closed my eyes I could see a gun in my face."

Edward Mitchard, defending, told the court Jones carried out the "impulsive" attempted robbery to try and fund his drug habit and said the attempt as "farcical".

He added that from entering the club to removing his balaclava, the incident lasted around "12 seconds".

At the time of the attempted robbery, Jones was on bail after being stopped by police who found heroin and a knuckle duster on his possession five months earlier.

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Jones pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and the previous offences.

Judge Michael Fitton QC jailed Jones for a total of eight years for both sets of offences and ordered him to pay a victim surcharge.

He will serve half his sentence before being released on licence.

Judge Fitton said: "You were out to get money for drugs. You clearly terrified her and she still suffers trauma from the impact of the event."

Jones was also made the subject of a 15-year restraining order not to contact Ms Smith.

  • Crime
  • Money
  • Drugs

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