A man who gave a post office worker a note threatening to shoot a customer unless he handed over £3,000 has been jailed for two years.
Lee Morrow left empty-handed after his “idiotic” robbery attempt at Wakefield Post Office before walking to nearby Wood Street police station and handing himself in.
Leeds Crown Court heard Morrow, 39, carried out the offence last December 23 as he was desperate for money for Christmas, was struggling with his benefits claims and could not find a job.
Brian Outhwaite, prosecuting, said Morrow, of Darnley Avenue, Wakefield, walked into city centre premises at 11.40am and passed a note to a counter assistant which read: “Give me £3,000 now or I am going to shoot a customer.”
The prosecutor said: “The complainant responded with ‘are you being serious’ and the defendant said ‘of course I am.’”
The assistant told Morrow he did not have that amount of cash and said he would have to go get it. He then went into the manager’s office and pressed a panic alarm. Morrow handed himself in at the police station later that day and admitted what he had done. He was searched and found in possession of two knives.
He pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and possession of a bladed article in a public place.
Richard Canning, for Morrow, said: “This was clearly an act of idiotic desperation. There was no intention other than the defendant chancing his arm to get some money.
“When he realised he couldn’t he walked straight to the police station and handed himself in.”
Mr Canning said Morrow still had the support of his family.
He added: “He finds the prospect of getting a job almost impossible and Christmas time desperation set in and he went about this foolish plan.”