A COWARDLY armed robber fled empty-handed from a shop - when a worker shouted at him.

Callum Hardman was brandishing a knife and wearing sunglasses during the 6am hold-up.

He demanded money from store boss Peter Waller and waved the blade at the shopkeeper.

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When Mr Waller yelled at him, the 18-year-old turned and fled, a court heard yesterday (Monday, August 18).

Security cameras captured Hardman in a distinctive hoody and swigging beer from a can.

It later emerged the teenager had been on a non-stop four-day drink and drugs bender.

His lawyer Garry Wood said: "He doesn't have anything similar on his record.

"His explanation is that he was incredibly intoxicated by alcohol and other substances."

Judge Michael Taylor told him: "That might be an explanation but not an excuse."

Hardman, of The Avenue, Nunthorpe, Middlesbrough, was jailed for three years.

He pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and possessing a bladed article on June 23.

The court heard that he has 21 offences on his record, and has flouted court orders.

Judge Taylor told him he had targeted a lone worker at a quiet time of the day.

He said: "It is hardly surprising to hear he was terrified at what was going on.

"He bravely resisted you. On reflection, he is fearful for his staff in the future.

"These offences are commonplace and all too prevalent in this part of the world.

"You tried to disguise your appearance by wearing a hood over your face.

"You were carrying a knife and you demanded monies."

The incident happened at Premier Stores in Cargo Fleet Lane, Middlesbrough.

Prosecutor Sue Jacobs told the court: "He had a large black-handled kitchen knife.

"He said something about money, but Mr Waller did not really understand him.

"Mr Waller shouted at him. The defendant shouted back, and then turned and ran."

The judge said: "You were on bail waiting to be dealt with for another matter.

"You were the subject of a curfew order. You pay scant attention to court orders.

"Despite your relative youth, you are already developing a bad record."