An armed robber who donned a balaclava before raiding a high street shop was arrested within minutes after the worker recognised his voice.

Paul Sherwood entered the shop armed with a knife before making his way behind the counter and grabbing cash from an open till.

The 43-year-old then fled from the One Stop Shop on Guisborough High Street before discarding his disguise in a bin, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Jon Harley, prosecuting, said the defendant was out on licence when he carried out the armed robbery on June 19 this year.

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“He entered the shop brandishing a triangular knife and wearing a balaclava,” he said. “He made his way from the entrance to the till area before going through a door and approaching the till.

The Northern Echo: The One Stop Shop on Guisborough High Street.The One Stop Shop on Guisborough High Street. (Image: Google)

“The staff member was serving a customer and the till was open. The defendant told her not to close it and then snatched a quantity of cash.

“He then calmly walked out of the store and left the scene.

“Police were called and the worker told them she recognised the defendant. A balaclava was recovered from a bin near some flats and the defendant was arrested.”

The court heard how the defendant was on licence for a previous offence at the time of the raid on the One Stop Shop.

Sherwood, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to robbery and possession of a bladed article following his swift arrest.

The Northern Echo: Paul SherwoodPaul Sherwood (Image: Cleveland Police)

John Nixon, mitigating, urged the judge to give his client maximum credit for his early guilty plea.

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Judge Andrew Hatton locked the defendant up for four years and eight months after knocking a third off his sentence for pleading guilty.

He said: “You went in the shop with a balaclava over your head and face, in fact CCTC showed you putting it on nearby, you had a knife in your hand.

“You went to the till area and emptied the till which was open as the woman was serving someone else – you told her to keep it open.

“Despite the balaclava you were recognised.”

Sherwood was also barred from entering the shop for ten years after he was made subject of a restraining order.