A KNIFE-wielding teenage robber threatened to kill a petrified woman petrol station cashier as she worked alone in the early hours of the morning.

Rhys Walker dreamed up the robbery plan to solve his financial problems after drinking 15 pints of lager and went home to get a large kitchen knife.

He then walked to the BP petrol station in Hoylake Road, Moreton, at 1.30am, and sneaked in after the unsuspecting cashier had unlocked the door to let a regular trusted customer in to pay.

When that customer had gone, 18-year-old Walker suddenly appeared and ran towards the counter holding the knife with a 10-to-12-inch blade, said Paul Blasbery, prosecuting.

"He approached her with the knife and she backed away to avoid injury. He said 'open the till and give me the money' and jumped onto the counter and knelt forwards. He reached forwards and she opened the till fearing for her safety," said Mr Blasbery.

He grabbed handfuls of cash and demanded 100 cigarettes and told her to fill a carrier bag with them.

"Still waving the knife he said: 'If you call the police I'll kill you.'

"He headed towards the door and she released the mechanism to let him out and he ran off towards Moreton Cross," said Mr Blasbery.

Walker went back home and wanted to confess to his dad but could not bring himself to do so.

He grabbed his passport and went to Liverpool Airport, paying for a flight to Magaluf in Spain.

He later told his parents where he was and they flew out to bring him back. he was met by waiting police at Manchester Airport and arrested on June 6.

He confessed and said he was sorry and wished he could turn the clock back.

He explained that he had been in considerable debt and hatched the robbery plan after spending seven hours in a pub drinking 10-to-15 pints of lager and two Jager Bombs.

Sentencing Walker, of Pembroke Avenue, Moreton, to 26 months' detention in a Young Offenders Institution, Judge Robert Warnock said he had threatened to kill the cashier for a "relatively paltry amount of cash and cigarettes."

"It was premeditated in an attempt to address your indebtedness due to your alcohol and substance misuse..you are clearly a troubled young man," the judge said.

He said that he accepted he was remorseful and his supportive family had brought him back to face the music, but said those working alone at night in such premises "will receive protection from the courts."

Liverpool Crown Court heard the victim was now nervous about working alone at the petrol station and was having trouble dealing with the incident.

Walker, who has a previous conviction for aggravated vehicle taking, had pleaded guilty to robbery and possessing a bladed article on May 30.

Hayley Cooper, defending, said Walker "has shown nothing but remorse and wished to apologise to the complainant and his family who was supporting him. He is very ashamed.

"He had a number of financial issues not helped by his consumption of recreational drugs and found himself in a cycle of debt and would drink to avoid confronting the issues rather than resolving the problem."