TWO crack addicts who carried out a spate of armed robberies to fund their habit were jailed by a judge yesterday.

Geoffrey Baker and Keith Lupton, both 25, admitted carrying out four robberies in five days in Darlington and Stockton last month.

Teesside Crown Court heard that during the first, on August 10, Lupton pointed a knife at a 19-year-old female cashier in the Esso garage in Yarm Road, Stockton.

He and Baker grabbed more than £1,000 cash from the till.

Deborah Sherwin, prosecuting, said the pair next targeted Ken Warne's supermarket, in Cleveland Terrace, Darlington, on August 14.

After buying a chocolate bar she said Baker, of Hollyhurst Road, Darlington, "lunged over the counter and began to snatch money from the till".

Lupton, of Malim Road, Darlington, was seen by a shop assistant to be carrying a knife.

The following day they carried out two further robberies in the town, using a stolen car to make their getaway.

At Bell's store, on the Red Hall estate, a knife was pointed at a 16-year-old male shop worker and money stolen from the till.

Miss Sherwin said the teenager was left "shaken and upset".

They then went to the BP garage in Haughton Road and stole about £200.

Miss Sherwin said the 25-year-old female cashier saw that Lupton was carrying a crowbar under his arm and was "really frightened".

The court heard that both defendants were long-standing heroin addicts who also used crack cocaine. Both asked for other offences to be taken into account.

Dan Cordey, for Baker, said that his client was sorry for frightening the shop workers.

Robert Terry, for Lupton, said his client handed himself into police and fully co-operated with their investigation

Judge John Walford jailed Lupton for seven years and Baker for six.