A HAPLESS robber dumped his clothes after holding up a building society - but left his phone in the pocket of his jacket.

Police found Jason Rochford's trousers, coat and Samsung mobile, looked in the address book for 'mam' and called his mother.

After discovering who he was and going to Rochford's home, officers uncovered most of his £2,500 haul hidden in the kitchen.

Loading article content

Rochford's lawyer described the career criminal, 40, as "unsophisticated" and said he was in debt to a menacing person.

He got drunk and took ten sleeping pills before the raid at the Stockton branch of the Darlington Building Society.

Armed with a knife, Rochford approached the lone cashier, barged a customer out of the way and passed over a bag.

He said "give me the money" before holding the six-inch weapon close to the worker's face, and saying: "I mean it."

Rochford fled from the scene with his haul of cash, and dumped his hat, jacket and jogging bottoms nearby.

Hours later, a man spending £20 notes in a nearby supermarket told staff tell-tale details of the 4.30pm raid.

He said the robber had discarded his clothes in Silver Street - just off the High Street - to get rid of evidence.

Andrew Turton, mitigating, said Rochford had given it so little thought he did not realise his DNA would be on the bag.

He told Judge Les Spittle: "It was unsophisticated and, to a degree, impulsive. He had consumed alcohol and drugs.

"He was in debt to an individual in the Stockton area. He committed the offence out of fear for himself. He was under pressure."

Rochford, of Norton Road, Stockton, who has 83 offences on his record, was jailed for five years after admitting robbery and having an offensive weapon.

Judge Spittle told him he had terrified the cashier and customer with the "substantial" knife and his unpredictable, drunken demeanour.

"I want you and anyone else to know that those who go and commit offences of this nature and arm themselves with a weapon will get greater punishment," he said.