A VIOLENT career criminal terrified staff at gunpoint as he carried out an armed robbery at a shop which sells legal highs.
Steven Grey was returned to prison for seven years over the raid in which one member of staff thought he was going to be killed.
Grey, 34, had just been released from prison on licence when he carried out the attack at the Rudeboy Headshop, on The Crescent, Hyde Park, Leeds, with an unknown accomplice.
Grey was armed with a fake handgun and the other man was armed with a knife when they entered the shop at lunchtime on June 27.
CCTV footage captured the masked pair pointing the weapons at two members of the staff. They were also ordered to hand over their jewellery and mobile phones.
Grey then said “where’s the spice” before going into a storeroom and stealing stock worth around £9,000.
The court heard one of the workers feared he was about to be killed or seriously injured and have been too frightened to return to work since the raid.
Grey and the other man removed the CCTV system and left the shop with it.
Police were called and the footage was found the system a short distance away and the it was still capable of playing the footage
Forensic officers also found Grey’s fingerprint on a cardboard box in the storeroom.
He was arrested three days later and a list containing many of the items stolen in the raid was found at his home.
Grey, of Hyde Park Road, admitted the offences when he was confronted with the forensic evidence and CCTV footage.
He pleaded guilty to two offences of robbery and possession of an imitation handgun.
The court heard he had recently been released from a sentence, imposed in 2008, for his role in a gang which kidnapped and tortured a man as part of a bid to extort ransom money.
He also has previous convictions for robbery and possession of a sawn-off shotgun.
James Keeley, mitigating, said Grey took part in the offence to pay off a debt after he was tracked down by another criminal soon after his release from prison.
He said: “He is 34 now and he knows that his life is essentially slipping away in front of him.”