Drunken Leeds petrol station ‘robber’ was offered a cup of coffee

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A DRUNK woman who went into a petrol station armed with a knife and told a member of staff she was carrying out a robbery was instead offered a cup of coffee.

Claire Bell, 33, was jailed for 16 months over the incident at the services in Meanwood, Leeds.

Leeds Crown Court heard Bell was unsteady on her feet when she went into the premises at 6.20am. Robert Galley, prosecuting, said Bell began waving a ten-inch blade at the man behind the till and said: “I want to rob this place.”

Mr Galley said: “(The victim) said she appeared drunk and he was concerned as to what her intentions might be.

“At that point he offered her a coffee. She said, ‘No, I want to rob this place.’”

Bell, of Holborn Towers, Woodhouse, Leeds, continued to make demands for cash and frightened other customers who were in the petrol station.

Police were called and Bell pointed the weapon at officers before being arrested.

She pleaded guilty to possession of a bladed weapon.

The court heard Bell has previous convictions for public disorder offences.

Robin Freize, mitigating, said Bell was at a “low ebb” at the time of the incident due to a number of problems in her life.

He said the incident was more of a cry for help and she had wanted to be locked up at the time.

Judge Geoffrey Marson, QC, said: “I accept that you did not intend to injure anybody but the sad fact is that nobody would have known that was not your intention.

“My public duty requires me to impose an immediate custodial sentence.”

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