A KNIFEMAN who asked his victim if he wanted to be "stabbed in the neck" before demanding cash in the street has been jailed.

The York victim said he no longer felt safe in the city after the attempted robbery, York Crown Court heard.

Simon Michael Hughes, 43, had just been released from a prison sentence for two other knife offences, including threatening the owner of the Pig and Pastry in Bishopthorpe Road.

Michael Bosomworth, prosecuting, said Hughes confronted a man in Bishophill at 8.30pm on August 14.

Pointing a knife at him he said "do you want me to stab you in the neck?” and when the victim said "no", he added “give me your money”.

The victim called 999 and pursued Hughes as he ran off to a nearby block of flats.

In a personal statement, the victim said: “I used to feel safe in York. I don’t now. I go away at weekends.

“I am afraid to walk through York now. I feel nervous if I hear anyone coming up behind me.

“I hold him no malice. I just want to know why he picked me. What did I do?

“Saying sorry would mean a lot."

The Recorder of York, Judge Sean Morris, said: “It is inevitable people who attempt to rob people in the street of this city will go to prison 99 per cent of the time, so that the streets of this city are kept safe for everyone.”

Hughes, of Dale Street, off Nunnery Lane, pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and threatening a person with a knife and was jailed for three years.

For him, solicitor advocate Neal Kutte said: “He says sorry.”

Hughes didn’t remember the incident and found it difficult to believe he had done it.

Defence lawyers had arranged for a psychiatrist and psychologist to write reports on Hughes.

Mr Kutte suggested that after reading the reports, prison staff would put Hughes on the “offender personality disorder pathway”.

“Hopefully when he is released, he won’t be in the same situation (as he is now),” said Mr Kutte.

The victim’s statement said he no longer uses Nunnery Lane and uses the main road instead of side roads after dark.

He didn’t work late into the evening and varied the routes he used.

Hughes was jailed for 10 months at York Crown Court on July 28 last year. Because he had been remanded in prison since February 28, he was released shortly afterwards.

His defence barrister at that hearing, Timothy Jacobs, said Hughes had turned back to drugs when his long-term partner had died.

In 2019, Hughes was given a suspended prison sentence for carrying a knife in Sainsbury's in Blossom Street.

He was on that order when he threatened to stab the owner of the Pig and Pastry in the street. The café owner had been concerned about Hughes’ actions in the eatery.