A 30-year-old man who subjected a woman to a terrifying assault during a petrol station robbery has been jailed for six-and-a-half years.

Drug addict Robert Shane Hughes admitted robbery and assault at the Shell service station in Denbigh on 29 April and possessing a knife.

Mold Crown Court heard he was jailed previously for robbing another fuel station while armed with a crossbow.

North Wales Police said the town would be a safer place without him.

“This was a particularly nasty incident during which a young female store assistant was assaulted and so, on her behalf, I’m particularly pleased and reassured,” said Det Ch Insp Neil Harrison.

“This sentence will have a massive impact locally and therefore just reward to the community for all the support and understanding given as this investigation progressed.”

The court heard Hughes, from Denbigh, had threatened the 19-year-old forecourt attendant with a knife and told her: “Open the till or I’ll stab you.”

She sustained cuts and bruises after falling.

Hughes stole about £180 in cash and cigarettes.

The court heard he was jailed for six-and-a-half years for the previous armed robbery in 2011.

North Wales Police said Thursday’s sentence followed the recent imprisonment of an associate of Hughes, and a closure order being granted on a property being used as a crack cocaine den by the pair in the town.

“Hughes is a prolific offender with a track record of dishonesty and so today’s sentence will make Denbigh and north Wales a much safer place with him locked up,” added Det Chf Insp Harrison.