A FORMER public schoolboy who could not cope with the demands of life he was expected to lead, was jailed on Wednesday June 5 after he admitted robbing a chemist and a Spar shop in his home town.

Defendant Robert Humphreys Trevelyan wielded a self defence spray during the robberies in the space of 24 hours.

A judge said that it was a personal tragedy for the defendant and for his family and jailed him for 28 months.

Trevelyan, 31, of Grove Park in Colwyn Bay, was public school educated and had a promising life ahead, but he found it difficult to cope and started abusing prescription drugs, Mold Crown Court was told.

The defendant was carrying an incapacitant spray when he robbed Cohens Chemist and Pharmacy in Conway Road, Colwyn Bay on Saturday, April 13 and stole a number of medications.

The following day he robbed the Spar in Abergele Road and stole about £100 in cash.

He again had the incapacitant spray with him, explained prosecuting barrister Hannah Gordon.

In the first robbery he had a towel over his head, was brandishing the spray and he demanded prescription drug which he named.

He ordered a male member of staff to get down on his knees, which he did, and made repeated warnings that mobile phones should not be used.

A female member of staff who was ordered to get the drugs feared that the spray may contain acid.

She later told police how she would have been more comfortable if she saw a gun or a knife and would know what the danger was.

A member of the public believed that he was holding a gun and told others not to enter.

The defendant had been seen at the premises twice before that day.

Miss Gordon told how the next day he went to The Spar shop and again produced the cannister.

He went behind the counter and demanded the till, telling the staff that they had 30 seconds to do so, and he left with the till and £95 in cash.

Judge Niclas Parry said that the robberies involved planning, a weapon had been used and an attempt had been made to conceal his identity.

He had caused fear to at least four people, three of them working in small retail outlets serving the local community.

The robberies were aggravated by the planning, the fact that he had carried out visits, and he had disguised his appearance.

His greatest mitigation was his guilty pleas which had been indicated in the magistrates' court and which would give him maximum credit in sentencing.

Judge Parry said that fair and moderate witnesses made clear that although he was authoritative he had also been shouting throughout that no one was in danger, that he would not hurt anyone.

Mercifully, no one had been injured.

He was a man of good character who had acted out of character.

The defendant, he said, was a man who had a privileged upbringing with all the benefits of a fine private school education.

But he had lost his way and was unable to cope with the demands of the life he was expected to live and he resorted to the use of prescription drugs.

It was so serious that only an immediate prison sentence was appropriate.

The defendant also admitted two charges of possessing an offensive weapon.

Defending barrister Dafydd Roberts said his client knew it had to be immediate custody.

He wanted to apologise through him to the victims.

The defendant was making good use of his time in custody.

His intention was to become a personal trainer and was on a physical instruction course in prison.

He had let his family down but he wanted to assure the court that he would never touch drugs again, said Mr Roberts.