Knife raider jailed

Jonathon Whitworth
Jonathon Whitworth
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A SHOP raider who tried to rob a convenience store at knifepoint has been jailed.

Jonathon Whitworth, 25, pulled a six-inch kitchen knife on shop worker Vijayaradsalan Ponniah and demanded he emptied the till.

But the brave worker grappled with Whitworth when he went behind the counter and threatened to stab him.

Whitworth gave up the attack and fled West View Supermarket but was quickly arrested outside.

He was jailed for two years at Teesside Crown Court yesterday for the attempted robbery on July 30.

The court previously heard how Mr Ponniah was only working at the shop, in Miers Avenue, Hartlepool, that day after being asked to help out by a friend of the owner.

Just moments before, Whitworth had told a man in the street that he planned to rob the store.

Prosecutor Sue Jacobs previously told the court how Whitworth pulled the knife from his hoodie and said: “Give me the money, empty the till or I will stab you.”

Whitworth went behind the counter and lunged at the terrified worker.

But he defended himself by grabbing hold of Whitworth’s wrists, before he ran off after a struggle.

The court heard Whitworth has an alcohol problem and was drunk when he committed the offence.

He later apologised to police for his behaviour.

Whitworth, of Arkley Crescent, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and possession of an offensive weapon.

Sentencing, Recorder Tony Hawks said: “The shopkeeper is to be commended for his bravery.

“It is a blessing he wasn’t in fact injured. You know perfectly well that robberies or attempted robberies of this sort have to be met with significcant periods in custody and the court has no alternative in this case but to send you to prison.”