A MAN who was high on cannabis quiche left a cashier terrified after be smashed his way into an all-night filling station and demanded beer and cigarettes.

Andrew Vincent staggered onto the forecourt of the Shell garage at Cullompton at 11.30pm after a night in a pub and was seen trying to set light to a petrol pump before he broke into the shop.

The cashier was already on the phone to the police when he kicked a hole in the back door which he climbed through and then made his way to the officer where he forced his way in and cut off the 999 call.

Vincent manhandled the worker before leaving with a four pack of Heineken, a pack of Embassy cigarettes and a lighter. Police arrive by the time he had crawled back out of the damaged door and he was arrested, still swilling one of the beer cans.

He was horrified by what he had done when he woke up in a cell the next morning and blamed his behaviour on eating a quiche laced with cannabis.

The cashier wrote a personal statement saying that he thought he was going to die. He had taken the job to boost his retirement fund but has had to change and reduce his hours, causing him financial hardship.

Ground worker Vincent, aged 37, of Honiton Road, Cullompton, admitted burglary and was jailed for a year and four months, suspended for two years, and ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work by Judge Peter Johnson at Exeter Crown Court.

He was also ordered to pay compensation of  £3,000 to the cashier, £2,894.10 to the shop and £300 costs.

He told him: “This had a substantial emotional and psychological effect on the victim who is now extremely concerned about his personal safety. You admitted to the police that you were massively intoxicated and had eaten cannabis quiche.

“You have shown remorse and I take into account your references which show another side of your character in which you have helped people in the community and are regarded as likeable and approachable.

“The reference from a former mayor of Cullompton talked about your community work.”

Miss Evie Dean, prosecuting, said the burglary took place at the filling station next to the M5 at 11.30pm on August 3 last year when Vincent was seen acting erratically on the forecourt and smoking while holding the nozzle of a pump which he tried to ignite with a lighter.

The cashier cut off the supply of petrol to the pumps and went to call the police but was interrupted by Vincent who kicked in the bottom of a back door and crawled through the gap.

He demanded alcohol and tobacco and told the cashier “you’re lucky I’m not a psychopath”. The cashier later said: “I feared for my life due to his animal like behaviour.”

The door cost £2,869 to repair and the stolen goods cost £25.10.

Mr Stephen Nunn, defending, said the offence was totally out of character and the result of going drinking on a hot evening after he had spent the day trimming hedges.

He said: “He feels traumatised by the feeling of shame at what he did. He cannot believe he ever did it. This was madness over a short period of time and he cannot understand how on earth he could have done it. He is remorseful.”