A “pathological liar” who held up a corner shop because he wanted money to impress his girlfriend on a night out has been jailed.
Robert Taylor, 24, invented a flashy persona to win friends but found it difficult to keep the facade up over time, Preston Crown Court was told. His lies were exposed when, on a night out in Chorley with his partner and two pals, he broke away from the group and told them he would meet them later.
CCTV images played to the court showed Taylor entering McColl’s newsagent in Astley village on March 28 with his hood up and a scarf masking his face.
John Close, prosecuting, told the court: “The store was empty when he entered. He was carrying a black bag and issued a threat to the shop assistant to ‘get behind (the counter) or I will stab you.’”
The assistant handed over takings from two tills and Taylor replied “thank you” before running off.
The court heard he did not produce a knife in the shop but witnesses who saw him flee spotted him with it.
Taylor changed into clothes he had hidden in the grounds of Parklands High School and thenphoned his friends to ask for a lift, pretending he had been to visit his father.
The court heard he then paid a friend some money he owed him and spent the evening enjoying himself in Chorley.
However, pals recognised a description of Taylor issued by police investigating the robbery and he was later arrested.
Taylor, of Back Fazakerley Street, Chorley, admitted a charge of robbery.
James Hawkes, defending, said Taylor had suffered from a depressive illness and had created a false image of himself to win friends.
Mr Hawkes said; “It seems in the past, with that background, there is an ingrained history of lying from a desire to make himself more interesting and attractive to people he was working with or meeting socially.
“His lying persona became more and more difficult to maintain.
“He wanted to impress his recent girlfriend by having money available.
“He was supposed to be a person with a certain amount of money available to him.”
Sentencing Taylor to 32 months in prison Judge Heather Lloyd said a psychologist had described him as a “pathological liar” who had led a double life for years.
She said: “You committed this robbery simply because you wanted money to continue this web of lies and deceit you had spun about your identity.
“People who work in small shops are vulnerable to people like you who threaten them and steal from them.”