TWO robbers who demanded cash from a terrified man while brandishing knives in his face have received lengthy prison sentences.

Carter Atkinson and Lee Richardson had spent two days taking drugs in the victim’s home before attempting to rob him after learning he had just received a bumper pay-out of £17,000.

The pair, and an unidentified third accomplice, threatened to kill the man if he didn’t give them the pin number for his bank card.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the hapless robbers ended up empty handed as their victim cancelled the bank card as soon as they left his Middlesbrough home.

Paul Abrahams, prosecuting, said the victim was able to positively identify the two defendants but did not recognise the third unnamed accomplice.

He added: “On entering, the males shouted ‘give me your money or I’ll stab you’. The unidentified man found his bank card and Richardson said ‘give me the f***ing pin and it better be the right one or I will come back and f***ing kill you’.

“Once the pin number was given the males fled the scene and incident was reported to the police, who attended shortly after.”

Mr Abrahams said Atkinson told police he had attended the victim’s home but only to sell him some cannabis and denied any robbery had taken place. Richardson made no comment during his interview, he added.

The Northern Echo: Carter AtkinsonCarter Atkinson

CCTV footage showed the pair leaving and running from the property.

In a victim personal statement, the man said he was frightened in his own home and was forced to move out after ten years as he was unable to sleep out of fear they would return to ‘kill him’.

Atkinson, of Southwell Court, Middlesbrough, and Richardson, of Shafto Street, Newcastle, both pleaded guilty to robbery and a charge of possession of a bladed article following the incident in May 23 last year.

Nadeem Aullybocus, for Atkinson, said his client had been in prison since the robbery as he had been recalled on licence.

Rod Hunt, representing Richardson, said his client was ‘fully emerged’ in drug culture at the time of the robbery but had taken steps to address his problem while on remand.

The Northern Echo: Lee RichardsonLee Richardson

Judge Recorder Marco Giuliani sentenced Atkinson to nine years and ten months in prison and Richardson received a six years and 11 month sentence.