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Ordeal of shop worker robbed at knifepoint
9:18am Wednesday 11th July 2012 in News
A deputy shop manager was robbed at knifepoint as she was opening up a newsagents' shop in Birkenhead, a court heard.
The frightening raid took place just after the deputy manager arrived at McColls in Highfield Road at 6.45am on August 18.
In the dock at Liverpool Crown Court is 29-year-old Michael Birchall, of Union Street, Wallasey, who denies robbery.
Damian Nolan, prosecuting, said that as the shop worker went to the front door to open up the premises, a hooded figure burst in pushing her backwards.
"She was pushed to the floor and as she was struggling to get away he grabbed her by the hair and threatened her with a knife in his hand," said Damian Nolan, prosecuting.
He dragged her to the rear of the store and ordered her to enter the security code for the rear office and she was so anxious she was not initially able to do so.
Once inside he opened the safe and stole the £3,000 takings and fled.
She rang the police and officers found items in a nearby garden including a small kitchen knife, a hooded top, jogging bottoms and socks.
Mr Nolan claimed that when these were forensically examined fibres from them were found on the victim's clothing and DNA evidence linked Birchall to the abandoned clothing.
The victim had recognised the robber as a regular customer and when she checked the shop's CCTV footage from three days earlier she identified Birchall.
When arrested and interviewed, Birchall denied being the raider and said he had been at home with his partner and children.
He admitted he had been in the shop three days earlier. He sometimes borrowed sports clothing from a friend and if his DNA was on the recovered items, the friend or a third party must have been involved in the robbery.
The case continues.