On her first day back from maternity leave in the family newsagent’s Lucia Peters, 24, was confronted by a raider in a hood pretending to have a weapon in a bag.

Mrs Peters told a judge how she was made to lie on the floor – and the episode had been so terrifying  she could no longer work there.

“I actually feared for my life,” she told Caernarfon crown court.

“My baby, five weeks old, was at home and I panicked she could be left without a mother. I was frozen with fear.”

She had worked in the shop since she was eleven, but had to give up because she was “shaky and nervous” and the family had to employ someone else.

“I still go into the shop but I’m always looking over my shoulder,” she said.

“I hope the sentence is strong and reflects the way this incident has affected my life in many ways.”

Andrew Duncan, aed 50, of Ty Gwyn Road, Llandudno, made off with £120 from the till and cigarettes worth £76.

He was jailed for four years after admitting robbery at Clifton Newsagent’s, Llandudno on March 1 – St David’s Day.

Ffion Tomos, prosecuting, said it happened at 10.50am when Mrs Peters was working alone.

She was told to lie on the floor while Duncan emptied the till and his hood was pulled tight in a bid to conceal his face.

Duncan had been arrested after hiding in a wardrobe at his house, having been tracked though Llandudno by CCTV cameras.

Miss Tomos said Duncan had 78 previous convictions for 176 offences, which included attempted robbery and robbery on the same day at Llandudno in 2004, when he was armed with a syringe containing blood.

At present he was under a suspended sentence imposed in Spain, but this could not be activated in the UK.

Defence barrister Dafydd Roberts said nothing he said was intended to minimise the effect on the victim.

Although there was no weapon it was intended that Mrs Peters should think there was one.

Duncan had a Class A drugs addiction but had come off them in prison on remand and now felt thoroughly ashamed of what he had done. In jail Duncan, an intelligent man with qualifications,  had become a mentor for other prisoners.

Judge Huw Rees said Mrs Peters had tried bravely to stop Duncan but thought he might have a weapon. The two minute robbery had left her convulsed with fear and she gave up her job.

He’d served a six year sentence for the 2004 raids on shops, Earlier he’d been jailed for possessing drugs with intent to supply.

The judge said Mrs Peters had been targeted because she was alone in the shop and vulnerable. By making her go to the floor Duncan, a heroin addict,  had “degraded her”, remarked Judge Rees.

After being sentenced Duncan said from the dock: “Thank you very much.”

Det Sgt Dean Jones, of St Asaph CID, praised local businesses for their assistance in providing CCTV which was an integral part of the prosecution case.

“The support from the local community, and business community in particular, was significant in contributing to a successful prosecution and on behalf of the investigating officer, DC Stamatiou, I’d like to pass on our thanks.  

“Andrew Duncan subjected innocent people to threats of violence and today’s sentence will, I’m sure, bring a sense of relief to the local community, as well as his victims and demonstrate that we will relentless pursue those who commit the most harm in our communities.”