Pair jailed after shop worker injured by crossbow fired at her stomach

Credit: South Wales Police

A shop assistant was left injured after a robber armed with a “fearsome” crossbow demanded cash and cigarettes then fired the weapon at her stomach.

Annalise Davies still has nightmares after a woman marched into thestore with her hood up and scarf over her face shot the crossbow andran out with cigarettes.

In a victim personal statement read out at Cardiff Crown Court, MsDavies said: “I have trouble sleeping and I don’t like to be on myown.”

The incident happened in Bridgend at the end of April. Credit:

The incident happened at Bryncethin Stores on Blackmill Road inBridgend at around 7pm on Monday, April 27.

David Pinnell, prosecuting, said Christopher Bessant was driving, withEsther Callow as a passenger when they pulled up outside the shop.

The court heard Callow got the crossbow out of the back and walkedinto the store with gloves on her hands, her hood up and a scarfcovering the lower part of her face.

Mr Pinnell said Callow approached Ms Davies, who was working behindthe counter, and demanded cash and cigarettes.

He told the court Callow then fired the crossbow, grabbed thecigarettes and rushed back to the car before Bessant drove off.

Ms Davies was taken to the Princess of Wales Hospital, where she wasdiagnosed with injuries to her abdomen, including bruised kidneys.

She told the court she worries about leaving her children when she goes to work, in case something happens.

Police found Callow and Bessant with the car in a layby, trying todispose of the crossbow and clothes they were wearing during therobbery.

Officers found the cigarettes nearby and the crossbow in undergrowth.

The pair were arrested.

When they were interviewed, they both said they could not rememberwhat happened and were shown CCTV footage of the incident.

Police found the crossbow in undergrowth. Credit: South Wales Police

Callow accepted they had taken heroin and valium and claimed she shotthe crossbow “accidentally”. She said she was sorry and could notbelieve what she had done.

Prosecutors said she had 35 previous offences on her record, includingminor violence, possessing drugs, dishonesty, shoplifting andbreaching court orders.

Callow, 35, from Trem Y Castell in Coity, Bridgend, admitted robberyand possessing an offensive weapon.

Giles Hayes, defending, said Callow had problems with drug abuse andwas in a “downward spiral”.

Prosecutors said Bessant had five previous offences on his record,related to drugs and driving.

Bessant, 34, from Ty’n Yr Haul in Bryn Heulog, Bridgend, admitted thesame charges as his co-defendant.

Steven Burnell, defending, said Bessant had little recollection ofwhat happened and asked for credit for his guilty pleas. He said hisclient had never been to prison before.

Judge Jeremy Jenkins rejected Callow’s assertion the weapon went off by accident and noted: “The effect on Ms Davies has been profound.”

He jailed them each for four years, observing: “This was a jointenterprise if ever there was one.”

An order was made for the car and crossbow to be confiscated.