Leeds robber caught after off-licence staff recognised his face

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A drunk was caught after he tried to rob his local off-licence at knife-point and was recognised by staff.

Peter Henry, 23, was jailed for two and a half years for the attempted robbery of the Rhythm & Booze store on Kirkgate, Otley.

Leeds Crown Court heard Henry, who lives on the same street as the store, went into the premises at 8.30pm on September 23 this year.

A female member of staff behind the counter noticed Henry looking nervous and agitated. Another shop worker recognised him.

Henry then produced an eight-inch knife from his pocket and gestured to the woman behind the counter to open the till.

David Mackay, prosecuting, said she was shocked and scared and went to a store room and locked herself in.

Henry went to the till and pressed the buttons but was unable to open it. He then left, police were called and Henry was found nearby and arrested.

He told officers: “I didn’t take anything. I’m sorry. I wish it was a bank, not a shop.

Henry pleaded guilty to attempted robbery. The court heard Henry has ten previous convictions for 17 offences, including burglary and criminal damage.

Kenton Sergeant, mitigating, said Henry had co-operated fully with police and admitted the offence at the earliest opportunity.

He told the court Henry had made a suicide attempt by slashing his arms since his arrest. Mr Sergeant said Henry had been having problems with his partner at the time of the offence and had drunk too much.

The member of staff from the shop who knew Henry said in a statement: “I didn’t think Peter was capable of hurting anyone but clearly my view has changed.”

Jailing Henry, judge James Spencer QC said: “Luckily for the small business the robbery wasn’t completed and you ran off without anything. The fact that you had a knife and you produced it aggravates your offence but it is fair to say that as soon as you were arrested you co-operated with the police.”

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