But as terrified cashiers prepared to hand over a bundle of notes, Mr Stewart calmly walked up to the robber and said: "It's April the 1st isn't it mate? It's April Fool's Day".
When Davidson said to him "I've got a gun I will shoot you", Andrew replied "go on then shoot me" and grabbed the bag from his hands.
He opened it in front of staff and after seeing it was empty sat down and carried on reading his paper, Exeter Crown Court heard.
Davison fled the scene but was later arrested and has now pleaded guilty to affray.