A MASKED raider who battered a convenience store cashier with a metal bar as his accomplice emptied the till was captured when the brave shop worker and his boss fought back.
Christopher Thompson, who was jailed at Sheffield Crown Court today, attacked the shop assistant in January as his partner in crime stole £400 in takings.
But the cashier and the shop’s owner teamed up to tackle the 58-year-old drug addict and hand him over to the police
Judge Sarah Wright called the incident “a shocking and violent attack” and noted how Thompson (pictured), of Holderness Drive, Aston, had an “appalling” criminal record of 28 previous convictions covering 89 offences.
She jailed Thompson for four years and nine months for robbery and possessing an offensive weapon.
Ms Amy Earnshaw, prosecuting, told the court how Thompson and his unnamed accomplice raided the Sandstone Convenience Store in at 9.55pm on January 29, as the shop assistant was cashing up.
Thompson, who was masked and wearing a black hoodie, had “ripped open the door to the till area and struck the complainant”, she said.
“The complainant managed to defend himself but the second man took cash from the hill,” Ms Earnshaw said.
The court heard the shop owner’s wife raised the alarm and he and the cashier managed to overcome Thompson, while the other robber fled.
Ms Earnshaw read a victim impact statement in which the cashier, a student, said he was “scared” and did not want to return to work.
“I came from another part of the world to study and did not expect to be attacked at work,” he said.
Mr Francis Edusei, mitigating, said Thompson, a painter-decorator, had been using drugs heavily – using up to £40-worth a day- since breaking up with his wife and moving out of the family home in January last year.
He said Thompson had also lost out on work because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“He had run up drug debts and was being put under pressure by those whom he owed money,” Mr Edusei said, adding that Thompson accepted he had behaved in a disgraceful way and wanted to apologise.
Mr Edusei said Thompson had been put on methadone while on remand and was hopeful of being clean by the summer.
Judge Wright told him: “This was a shocking and violent attack, leaving a victim who was shaken and scared to go to work.
“Those who work in convenience stores are vulnerable and need to be protected from people like you who think they can help themselves to their hard-earned takings and use violence in the process.”
She told Thompson he had “failed to take full responsibility for your actions”.
Det Con Liam Milner, who led the investigation, said: "Thompson is an incredibly violent individual and I am pleased he will now be behind bars for the next four years where he can no longer inflict any harm in our community.
“He caused his victims to suffer absolute terror and I hope that the knowledge that he is off the streets and facing justice will help them to take steps towards their recovery.
"I would like to thank them for their bravery in coming forward and aiding with our investigation.
"We hope that this sentencing will also serve as a reminder to those who lead a life of violence that we will not tolerate crimes of this nature in our region.
We will bring you to justice to keep our communities safe places to live and work."