A TEENAGER is starting a near four-year custodial sentence for knife threats made to store staff who confronted him over the theft of food worth only a few pounds.

Durham Crown Court was told two hours earlier, on November 5, Dalton Angus stole a sandwich and a wrap from Aldi, in Spennymoor.

Jane Waugh, prosecuting, said he returned to the Cambridge Street premises, at 8pm, and secreted two pasta meals in his clothing.

This time he was challenged by store staff who asked him to hand over the stolen items.

Angus produced a knife and said: “Get out of the f***ing way,” adding: “Move out of the way, or I’ll use it.”

Miss Waugh said one of the staff members “bravely” lunged at him and took the knife, telling him to put the stolen items back.

He denied being a shoplifter and, despite being told he could leave if he handed over the stolen items, he claimed to have a kosh.

The staff members decided it was not worth risking injury and stood back, enabling Angus to get away.

Miss Waugh said he then went to the town’s Asda store and stole two cases of cider.

He was arrested two days later and made denials, claiming it was not him on store cctv footage.

Appearing at the court last month, 18-year-old Angus, of Cragside Close, Spennymoor, admitted robbery, possessing a bladed article in public and two counts of theft.

The sentencing hearing was told he has 14 convictions for 33 offences, mainly for theft and public order incidents, and was subject to a suspended prison sentence only weeks earlier for shoplifting.

Peter Hamill, for Angus, said he is “immature” and does not think of the long-term consequences of his actions when he commits crime, nothing as serious.

Mr Hamill said from an early age he “fell in” with older negative influences, and, also, developed a drug habit, having taken cocaine on the evening of the robbery.

Judge Singh rejected Mr Hamill’s suggestion that Angus was, “immature”.

He told Angus: “You are no stranger to the court system, no stranger to court orders, and you were subject to a suspended sentence when you went out on that one-man crime spree that evening.”

Judge Singh said Angus, “brazenly” stole the items before making the threats.

He imposed a total 46-month sentence, beginning in a young offenders’ institution.

But he praised the bravery of the Aldi staff member who snatched the knife, awarding him £250 from public funds.