Leeds grocery store staff and customers overpower robber

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A drunk robber who tried to hold up a grocery store at knife-point was caught when staff and customers wrestled him the ground.

Ross Ellis drank a litre of Pernod before carrying out the masked raid at Belle Isle Store, on Belle Isle Road, Leeds.

Leeds Crown Court heard Ellis, 20, threatened worker Rina Patel with a three-inch kitchen knife and demanded cash when he went he burst in at 8pm on February 25.

Ellis pointed the weapon towards the woman and said: “I’m not joking, give me the money.”

The court heard Miss Patel shouted for help and was helped by colleague Riaz Kantri.

Mr Kantri walked to the front of the store and saw Ellis standing by the tills.Mr Kantri grabbed the weapon and was helped by two customers in overpowering Ellis.

They detained him until police arrived.

Ellis, 22, was interviewed the next day but told officers he could not remember anything because of the amount of alcohol he had drunk.

He admitted that the balaclava and the knife belonged to him.

Ellis, of Ring Road, Middleton, pleaded guilty to attempted robbery.

Graham Parking, mitigating, said: “He has no memory. He doesn’t even remember leaving home. He thought he had gone to his girlfriend’s. That is clearly not the case.”

Mr Parkin described Ellis as a hard working young man who was not from a criminal background.

He added: “There has never been a moment when he sought to avoid responsibility or mitigate the damage that he has done.”

Judge Penelope Belcher jailed Ellis for two years, eight months.

She acknowledged his behaviour was out of character, but said: “The fact remains that this is a very serious offence, involving knife crime.”

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