I thought I’d never see my family again

A TERRIFIED cashier thought he was going to die when an armed robber stormed his petrol station on Christmas Day.

Yoganathan Shanthaseelan was serving a customer at Chrysler Garage, in Bayes Street, Kettering, when a masked man walked in and pulled out a metre-long shotgun.

The robber then pointed the gun over the counter at the cashier and threatened to shoot him if he did not hand over cash in the till.

At Northampton Crown Court yesterday, Mr Shanthaseelan gave a witness account during the trial of James Taylor, 22, of Lancaster Road, Kettering.

Taylor is accused of the raid, but has pleaded not guilty to both robbery and the possession of a firearm or imitation firearm.

Mr Shanthaseelan said: “He kept saying ‘I am going to shoot you’. I said ‘don’t shoot me, I will give all the money’. I felt like I was going to die, I’ve got a wife and kids, I thought I would die in a couple of minutes.”

In CCTV footage shown to the jury at yesterday’s trial a masked man could be seen thrusting the gun at the cashier.

The footage then showed a blue bag being placed on the counter and the cashier inserting £300 before the robber ran out with the money.

The incident was all over in five minutes and took place at about 10.30pm.

Mr Shanthaseelan said: “I come from Sri Lanka, I know all the guns and killings.

“I came to this country for the safety, not to die here.”

Prosecuting, Adam Pearson said a logo on the back of the jogging bottoms worn by the armed robber linked the crime to Taylor, who had been in the store earlier that day wearing what the prosecution claims were identical trousers.

During questioning by the barrister, Mr Shanthaseelan said he thought he recognised Taylor’s ‘height and actions’ from the robber, but could not be sure.

In cross-examination Jonathan Coode suggested other people’s opinions on the CCTV footage had made him think that.

The case continues on Monday.