A ROBBER was caught after leaving a carrier bag and sock containing DNA and fingerprints at the scene of the armed hold-up.

Anthony Clark bought a get-away car a day before the shop raid in Stanley, County Durham and burned it out afterwards.

Teesside Crown Court heard today that the 36-year-old escaped with £2,500 from Nisa in Park Road on June 25 last year.

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He had an imitation gun when he threatened two members of staff shortly before 7am, prosecutor Sam Faulks told the court.

He was also disguised with a pair of large sunglasses and had a hood tightly pulled around his face, said Mr Faulks.

Clark went behind the post office counter with his bag, and demanded: “Put it in there. Fill it up. Don’t press any buttons.”

After fleeing and torching the Vauxhall Corsa, he got a taxi from his home in Standish Street, South Moor, to Birtley.

The cabbie - who spoke about the armed raid at the shop - later helped to identify Clark, Mr Faulks told Judge Sean Morris.

The court heard how Clark was jailed for six years in 2003 for kidnap and robbery, and has offences of violence on his record.

Jonathan Harley, mitigating, said: “This was a robbery which could have been planned in about five minutes without any real thought.

“If he had applied some considerable thought, he would not have got a taxi from his home, burned the car out so close to the shop, and he would not have left things at the scene.

“It was a haphazard robbery which points to a desperation on his part at the time and that’s reflected in the state of mind he was in.

“He is clearly remorseful. He wishes nothing more than he had not carried out this offence.”

Mr Harley said Clark, who admitted robbery and was jailed for ten years, was addicted to valium and heroin.

Judge Morris told him: “You have a serious record. The lady you threatened with the gun thought it was real.

“Later, she wondered what would have happened if she had been shot. The effect on her has been awful.

“This was cooly planned and cooly carried out.”