An armed robber had to smash his way out of a North Belfast off licence last night (Wednesday, November 27) after his getaway driver panicked and fled the scene, leaving him trapped in the shop he had just raided.

The North Belfast News understands the man arrived at the Winemark store at Cliftonville Circus on the back of a motorcycle around 6.40pm and ran into the shop armed with a hatchet where he demanded cash off two female workers.

But, in attempting to make his escape, members of the public tried to restrain him and the door was locked.

He then began smashing the door with the hatchet in a bid to get out. However by this stage his partner in crime had panicked and fled the scene in the direction of Alliance Road. After smashing the pane of glass the robber was able to escape on foot in the direction of Westland with a sum of cash.

A PSNI spokesman told the North Belfast News they wanted to speak to anyone who was in the area at the time and witnessed suspicious activity.

Winemark said they wouldn’t be making any comment on the attack.