A lone female shop worker was pushed to the ground and told she would be stabbed by a hooded Boxing Day raider – leaving her terrified for the sake of a few cigarettes.
Scott Humphreys stormed into the Nisa store with his face partially covered by his hood, and warned “give me the money, get the f***** till open now”.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the brave store worker told the 34-year-old to leave and tried to get him out of the shop.
Prosecutor Lee Fish told the court: “Unfortunately matters turned slightly nastier.
“As she was ushering the defendant out of the shop there was a struggle where he pushed her to the ground.
“During the course of that, she is quite clear he shouted at her ‘I will stab you, you b*****d, get that till open, get me that money’.”
The court heard as the terrified worker at the store, on Sevenoaks Avenue, in Sunderland, retreated, Humphreys jumped on the counter and helped himself to packets of cigarettes, which he stuffed into his pockets and then left.
Mr Fish added: “The defendant obviously knew she was working alone in the shop, that is quite clear from the fact he had been there earlier that day.
“This has potential to suggest she was targeted on the basis of vulnerability, namely a woman working alone in the shop.”
The shop assistant said in a victim impact statement: “This incident has knocked my confidence.
“I am well known in the local community, I get on with everyone.
“I am now a complete bag of nerves, even when the manager is with me.”
Jamie Adams, defending, said Humphreys was in a “hopeless” state of mind at the time and is trying hard to change.
Humphreys, who appeared at the hearing via video link to prison, read a letter he had prepared for the judge.
He said: “I am very aware of how serious this is and the impact it has had.
“Even though it has taken the best part of a year to be sentenced, I still think of my actions and I am very remorseful for the offence on Boxing Day.
“This year has been very long, not a day has gone past when I don’t think about it.
“Through the probation service, drug and alcohol services are available. I hope I can get the help from them that they have offered and get back on track with my normal life.
“The time in custody has given me a wake-up call to stop offending.
“This isn’t the life for me.
“I am very sorry for what I did and I want my life back on track.”
Humpreys, of Anvil Way, Kennet, Newmarket, Surrey, admitted robbery and was jailed for 30 months.