A MAN who robbed a petrol station while wielding a claw hammer has been jailed.

At Oxford Crown Court on Friday Paul Wyeth, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to one count of robbery and one count of possession of an offensive weapon.

The 37-year appeared at the same court via videolink on Tuesday to be sentenced for the ‘terrifying’ robbery at the Shell petrol station at London Road, Bicester, on December 31 at about 8.15pm.

Bicester Advertiser: Paul Wyeth

In CCTV shown at the sentencing, Wyeth was seen to approach the counter before wielding a claw hammer above his head and threatening the 65-year old shop assistant to empty the till.

The store assistant then activated a silent alarm under the counter before fleeing into a safe room, which provoked Wyeth into hammering the till a number of times in a bid to break it open.

He then vaulted over the counter before hauling the machine out of the garage, and taking about £100 in cash along with it.

As he was captured on camera and was a well-known face in the Bicester area, the court heard, police were able to quickly track him down before arresting him.

In mitigation, Richard Paton-Phillip said that his client had been a long-standing drug addict and had carried out the raid in order to pay off a drugs debt that his partner had accrued with a group of Birmingham dealers.

He said: “He is not a stranger to this kind of criminality and he felt he had little option. He choose to commit the offence to discharge this drug debt.

“He has asked me to apologise for his behaviour and the experience he put his victim through as well as for the property and to the business.”

Jailing Wyeth, Judge Ian Pringle QC said: “You have a truly awful record of offending [...] and also a complete failure to comply with orders that are non-custodial.”

Wyeth was jailed for of 40 months, made up of 40 months for the robbery to run concurrently with 16 months for carrying the weapon.