A BRAVE shopkeeper foiled an attempted knifepoint robbery when she threw the robber’s bag back at him.
The woman swore at Carl Russell who fled from the shop, a court was told.
Prosecutor John Gillette told the court Russell was seen on the shop’s CCTV cameras hanging around outside.
“It was August and he was wearing a hooded top,” added Mr Gillette.
“The woman saw him and thought he was up to no good.
“After waiting for other customers to leave, he approached the counter, produced a bag and told the woman to fill it.
“He then produced a kitchen knife from inside his clothing.”
“The woman’s reaction, and the fact there was another customer in one of the aisles, seemed to unnerve him and he fled.”
The court heard police recognised Russell from the CCTV footage and arrested him a few hours later.
Russell, 32, of Blackhills Road, Horden, admitted attempted robbery at Mosci’s store, in Sunderland Road, Horden, on August 12.
He has previous convictions for robbery and burglary.
Jane Waugh, mitigating, told Durham Crown Court: “Mr Russell was in debt to drugs dealers and a money lender.
“He was taken to the shop and ordered to rob it, although he accepts he could have refused to do so.
“He took fright when confronted and no injury was caused, nor was anything taken.”
Judge Christopher Prince jailed Russell for four years.
The judge told him: “The shopkeeper showed great fortitude and told you in no uncertain terms she was not standing for it.
“But despite this, she has been left nervous and fearful of some customers, and no longer likes her young son to be with her in the shop. All because of you.
“You claim pressure over debts, but this was a planned offence.
“In calculating the sentence I have taken your record as a significant aggravating feature.”