A KNIFE-WIELDING masked robber who terrorised shop workers across the county and beyond has been jailed for ten years.

Stores in Colchester, Clacton and Witham were amongst Danny Wrenn’s targets during his week-long spree in March and April last year.

Each time the 29-year-old would enter a store with his face covered and armed with a blade as staff were preparing to close for the night and threaten them to get cash.

Wrenn went into the Premier store in Hythe Quay, Colchester, and demanded cash and cigarettes be handed over.

The staff member on duty on the evening told police he thinks about what Wrenn did every day and struggles to sleep after the raid because he no longer believes he is safe.

The robbery came just 40 minutes after Wrenn had tried to steal from a store in Ipswich but was foiled when staff barricaded themselves in a safe room.

Three days before, Wrenn went into the Co-op in Coopers Lane, Clacton, brandishing a knife and demanding the safe be opened while wearing a pink shirt over his face with eye holes cut in.

He got away with £500 in cash but the t-shirt was found nearby with his DNA on it.

Two days later he got cash from a Co-op in Broadway, Silver End.

The robbery left staff suffering anxiety attacks and struggling to continue to do their job.

Other shops in Benfleet, Chelmsford and Billericay were targeted by Wrenn that week.

He and an accomplice also raided a Dominos Pizza and a Co-op in Brentwood and an post office in Chigwell in a previous robbery spate.

Wrenn has admitted seven robberies, three attempted robberies, seven counts of possession of a knife and possession of cannabis.

In total he got away with more than £8,000 in cash.

Ian Clift, mitigating, said personal problems had led to Wrenn using £100 worth of cocaine per day and he robbed the stores because of his mounting drug debts.

Sentencing Wrenn, of Angelica Court, Romford, at Chelmsford Crown Court yesterday, Judge Patricia Lynch QC said: “The reason this is so serious is because you armed yourself with weapons and embarked upon a course of criminal conduct which impacted on small businesses and every day people who were minding their own business and doing their jobs.”