A RHYL man has gone on trial charged with robberies at convenience stores in Denbigh and Bagillt.

Defendant Cain McLaren, 26, denies being one of two men who carried out the raids and represents himself at Mold Crown Court.

Prosecuting barrister Paulinus Barnes told the jury that he had been charged thanks to modern technology.

In January of last year there were two robberies on consecutive days.

Both robberies involved two masked men and in one case, one of the raiders brandishing a knife.

In the second robbery, one of the men held a black bin liner with something inside that the shopkeeper thought was a weapon.

The first, on December 23, took place at K and A’s Store in Henllan Street in Denbigh, the prosecutor explained.

Owen Mr Athar Ali Khan was working alone when a man a hood on and a balaclava over his mouth and face entered brandishing a knife in his right hand shouting “Give me the money.”

The victim hid in the back of the shop and saw the robber go behind the counter and then leave.

His mobile phone and laptop computer had been stolen from the counter and cigarettes had been stolen from a cupboard behind the counter.

CCTV footage showed two men, both with their faces covered, outside his shop.

Mr Barnes said it also showed the man coming into the shop, waving the knife about, and then taking the laptop, the mobile phone and the cigarettes.

When he emerged from the shop he then ran off with the other male who had waited outside – who appeared to be carrying a bag.

The second robbery was the following day – it was at the Boot End Convenience store and Post Office in Bagillt.

Owner Mr Mathivathanan Sivanathan was working on his own that evening and had just finished mopping the floor when the door opened and two males rushed in.

Their faces were almost entirely covered and they were shouting at him to “open the till”.

The male who was closest to him was carrying a black bin liner that seemed to be wrapped around something – Mr Sivanathan thought immediately that it was a weapon of some kind.

He opened the till as they demanded – and the men were shouting at him “Give me the money, give me the money”.

The male with the black bin bag reached across the counter and grabbed notes from the till.

Both men then turned and ran out.

Police found a black bin bag abandoned in the middle of the road which contained a broken broom handle with a screw in one end.

The prosecutor said it was not possible to identify the culprits from the CCTV alone but he told the jury that the case was “a story of modern technology”.

He said that the mobile phone stolen in Denbigh was a Huawei phone on a monthly contract with Vodafone.

From its unique identification number, police found it was now being used with a SIM from another phone, which he alleged was the defendant’s.

A top up had been bought at the Shell garage in Holywell a couple of hours after the robbery and CCTV footage showed it was bought by the defendant, he alleged.

The defendant could be seen to remove a mobile phone from the pocket of his jacket – a smartphone that Mr Khan was later able to say looked just like the one that had been stolen.

He said the garage CCTV also showed his car, which was a Vauxhall Astra.

An Astra had been seen in the vicinity of both robberies, he said.

Police compared the clothing worn by the defendant at the garage to the clothing worn by those responsible for the robbery and he said there were some striking similarities”.

It was also alleged that the defendant had used his mobile phone to search the internet for “londis bagillt robber” and “londis bagillt robbery”, had been seeking updates, and he had also been searching “blank number plate” and “self adhesive reflective blank number plate – stick on”.

A number of items of circumstantial evidence built up a complete picture, Mr Barnes alleged.

McLaren of Wellington Road in Rhyl, has pleaded not guilty to both robberies.

The trial, before Mr Recorder Duncan Bould, is proceeding.