A SUPERMARKET manager who rugby-tackled a hooded knifeman as he attempted to rob his store should be considered for a bravery award, a judge said yesterday.

Daniel Bell was jailed for nearly eight years after he struck at two Darlington shops in the space of five days in February.

The 33-year-old first targeted Premier Stores, a corner shop in the town's Gladstone Street, where he demanded money from the shocked teenage assistant and escaped with £100 from the till.

Five days later and armed with a blade and a hammer, he threatened a worker at Sainsburys in Corporation Road. She was so shaken she is now suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and has been unable to return to work.

Bell was disarmed by the store's manager, who rugby-tackled him to prevent him getting any closer to the assistant and detained him until police arrived.

Sentencing Bell to seven years and ten months at Teesside Crown Court yesterday, Judge Stephen Ashurst said the manager ought to be considered for an award for his actions, adding: "He was very brave, indeed, when the outcome was uncertain as far as he was concerned.".

struck at two shops in the space of five days is starting a prison sentence of almost eight years.

The court heard that the 33-year-old struck first at Premier Stores where he demanded money from the student working there for her uncle, the owner.

Bell – wearing a tightly-fastened hoodie, gloves and plastic bags over his footwear – escaped with £100 from the till.

The teenage shop assistant described herself as very shocked and rang her uncle then the police, and later said in a statement she was apprehensive about working alone at night.

The woman threatened by Bell at Sainsburys has been unable to return to work because of the fear of the same thing happening again.

She said in an impact statement that she is afraid to go out alone, thinks about the incident every day, and now judges people by appearance and stereotypes them.

Prosecutor Peter Schofield told Teesside Crown Court that the manager effectively rugby-tackled the would-be robber and prevented him getting any closer to the worker.

Judge Stephen Ashurst said: "He is charged with attempted robbery plainly because of the actions of the manager in disarming him.

"It has had a severe traumatic effect on the female worker, two weapons were taken in and it was a repeat offence.

"You know full well that these offences are regarded by the public as very serious. People go to work to serve the public, not to be soft targets for those who want money at the end of a knife

"This sort of offence is one where the courts have to come down hard on those who deliberately go into shops armed with weapons in the certain knowledge that those working behind the counters are going to be frightened and persuaded to hand over money.

"The store manager at Sainsburys ought to be considered for a High Sheriff's award. He was very brave, indeed, when the outcome was uncertain as far as he was concerned."

Bell, of Celandine Close, Darlington, admitted robbery, attempted robbery and two charges of possessing a bladed article and was jailed for seven years and ten months.

His lawyer, Kelleigh Lodge, told the court that he had been drinking heavily and taking drugs to get over the death of a friend before the attacks, but he could not remember anything about them.

Miss Lodge said he also suffered physical health problems following brain surgery in 2013, and had not been in trouble since 2011.

"He does accept full responsibility for his actions, and he also stresses how genuinely sorry he is. He has viewed the CCTV from the shops and he is disgusted by his behaviour."