A masked armed robber who leapt over the counter of a convenience store and threatened a female member of staff with a knife before grabbing cash from two tills has been locked up.

Robert Lance left the young woman terrified as rifled through the till drawers while holding the knife towards the stomach of the shop worker before she managed to get herself to safety.

Teesside Crown Court was shown the CCTV footage of the short-lived robbery where Lance could be seen walking into the Sainsbury’s Local in Redcar wearing a snood to cover his face and with his hood pulled up in an attempt, to hide his identity.

Rachel Masters, prosecuting, said police were able to identify Lance after using CCTV footage to trace him back to his nearby home following the raid at 7.30am on February 15 this year.

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She said: “He told her to open the drawers, which she did, and he helped himself to the cash. He then motioned to tell her to open a second till and he also took the money from that till.

“As he was taking the money, she managed to back away from him and alerted her boss. At this stage he jumped back across the counter and left the shop.”

In a victim impact statement, the 19-year-old shop worker said the robbery had left her terrified and suffering from sleepless nights.

The Northern Echo: Robert LanceRobert Lance (Image: Cleveland Police)

Miss Masters said the defendant then carried out a burglary on a Dominos takeaway on Roseberry Square, Redcar, after forcing his way into the shop and stealing a bottle of wine and £40 in cash just before midnight on March 3.

His final offence took place on March 17 when he stole nine vapes from a shop on Queen Street, Redcar.

The court heard how the defendant had 52 convictions from 100 offences, predominantly for dishonesty offences but none for such a serious offence as robbery.

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Lance, of Broxa Close, Redcar, pleaded guilty to robbery, possession of a bladed article, burglary, and theft.

Gary Wood, mitigating, said his client has expressed remorse about the robbery and accepted that his offence had an impact on her after he brandished the knife towards the Sainsbury's worker.

Recorder Anthony Dunne locked Lance up for a total of six years and four months for all offences after using the knife to terrify the shop worker.

He said: “It seems that you were released from custody in early 2023 and not long after you suffered a significant bereavement – I accept that had a traumatic affect on you, that it will have caused you to act in a way you may not have usually done.”