A cocaine-fuelled robber pointed a loaded crossbow at a shop assistant and ordered her to open a safe by the count of three, the High Court has heard.
He was only disarmed after police intervened at a Mace store in south Belfast last month.
Prosecutors said Robert Scott later admitted the raid, claiming he did it to pay off a drugs debt.
Scott (31), of Bests Hill View, Belfast, faces charges of robbery and two counts of having an offensive weapon.
He was refused bail by a judge who said the 20-year-old victim would be “mentally scarred for life” by the November 1 incident. Mr Justice Horner said it was impossible to impose sufficient conditions to ensure public safety.
He said Scott had admitted “a truly appalling crime” against an innocent shop assistant.