A raider who struck at two Hartlepool shops in two days has been jailed for 21 months.
Teesside Crown Court heard a plucky shop assistant tried to fight off masked Callan Renshaw by swinging her mop at his accomplice but he escaped with more than £940 from the till.
He came up against another brave assistant when he tried to steal from a different shop the next day and fled empty handed.
Paul Newcombe, prosecuting, said: “Just before 10pm, Redshaw and another man walked into the Premier Store in Cornwall Street, Hartlepool. A female shop assistant was on duty.
“Redshaw had a hood pulled up and was wearing a white mask over his face. He leaned over the counter and prised open the till drawer.
“The assistant was cleaning the floor at the time and swung her mop at the second man.”
Both men made good their escape.
He added: “At about 6.40pm the next day Redshaw entered the One Stop shop in Catcote Road in Hartlepool, and again he was wearing a mask.
“He handed a shopping bag to the assistant and told her to fill it with money. She refused and activated a buzzer alarm.
“Redshaw left the shop. As he left, he said he was only joking.”
Redshaw was identified from CCTV footage in both shops.
When interviewed by police, he said he could remember little of what had happened because he had taken valium.
Redshaw, 23, of Stirling Street, Hartlepool, admitted theft on November 22, and he admitted attempted theft on November 23, last year.
He has previous convictions for offences involving dishonesty, drugs, and violence.
Paul Cleasby, defending, said: “Mr Redshaw was sentenced to five years for causing grievous bodily harm. He has been recalled on licence from that sentence, and his scheduled release date is December 5.
“The thrust of my submissions is for the court not to pass a sentence today that will extend that release date.
“There has been some tragedy in Mr Redshaw’s life, but he has the support of his family and his partner.
“He has shown some motivation to change, and with their help there is some prospect of him leading an offence-free life when he is released.”
Judge Howard Crowson sentenced Redshaw to 21 months in prison.
The judge told him: “These were serious offences which cause great emotional distress to shop assistants.
“I hope the motivation to change you have shown will keep you out of trouble when you are released.
“If it doesn’t, the sentences will just get longer and longer.”