A ROBBER who took part in a raid on an off-licence in which staff were threatened with a hammer has been jailed.
Leeds Crown Court heard two women working at the Rhythm ’N’ Booze store, on Armley Town Street, Leeds, were left “absolutely petrified” after two masked men stormed into the store.
Dale Fletcher, 25, opened the till and took cash as his unknown accomplice, who was carrying the hammer, went into a back room.
The pair fled after taking cash during the incident which happened around 7.50pm on May 16 this year.
Fletcher, of Aberdeen Walk, Armley, was arrested six days later when he was caught trying to burgle a property on Silver Royd Hill, Wortley.
Police were called to the community building, which belongs to West North West Homes, after a security camera was activated around 2.40am.
Paul Nicholson, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court a first floor window had been broken and Fletcher was trapped at the scene by a police dog.
Officers discovered him hiding a short distance from the property.
Fletcher pleaded guilty to robbery and burglary and offences of theft and attempted theft in relation to incidents at bowling alleys in West Yorkshire.
Fletcher was caught on camera interfering with a gaming machine at Hollywood bowl, Kirkstall, Leeds, on December 12 last year. A pair of bolt croppers were later found hidden under the machine.
Fletcher and a group of other men were also seen on CCTV interfering with a machine at the Matrix Bowl, Skipton, on February 13 this year.
Ten minutes later it was discovered that £200 had been taken from it.
Fletcher’s fingerprints were found on the machine.
Narinder Rathour, mitigating, said the offences were financially motivated after he discovered his partner was pregnant and wanted to provide for the child.
Referring to the robbery, Mr Rathour said the offence had not been planned and Fletcher was unaware that his accomplice had armed himself with a knife.
Judge Geoffrey Marson, QC, jailed Fletcher for three years, five months.
He told Fletcher: “The courts have to protect small businesses from attacks such as this.”