The victim came out of an off-licence in Sunderland and was approached by "blind drunk" Callum Gillyett, who wanted his cash.
But Newcastle Crown Court heard the "robust" victim pushed Gillyett to one side and went back in the shop, even holding the door for his attacker as he followed him in.
Gillyett then continued his attempt to rob him outside, again holding something to his throat, before being disturbed by other shop customers.
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He pleaded guilty to attempted robbery on the basis the item he pulled from his sleeve and held to the man's throat was not a knife, which was accepted by prosecutors.
Prosecutor Jane Foley said the victim had gone to the shop on Worcester Street, Sunderland at 8.40pm on January 24 2020, to buy cigarettes.
Miss Foley told the court: "He left to return home and was approached by the defendant, who asked if he was alright.
"The complainant said hello and the defendant asked who he was talking to in an aggressive tone.
"He then saw the defendant pull something from his sleeve and hold it to his throat. It's not know what that something was.
"He demanded he hand over all of his money. The complainant declined and pushed the defendant away."
The victim then briefly went back into the shop, followed by Gillyett, before both went outside again.
Miss Foley said: "The complainant can be seen on CCTV holding the door for the defendant when he enters then when he leaves he is being closely followed.
"He was confronted by him a second time after leaving the shop and once again he held something to his throat.
"This time he asks where he is going and he said he was going home and provided a false address.
"The defendant left after being disturbed by a customer leaving the shop."
The victim told staff in the shop what had happened and police were contacted and Gillyett was later identified as the culprit.
Gillyett, 26, who was living and working in Sunderland at the time but is now of York Road, Leeds, was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, with 80 hours unpaid work and £300 costs.
He said he was "blind drunk" when he committed the offence.
Miss Recorder Davies told Gillyett he was ‘fortunate’ his behaviour had not had a more serious impact.
She said: "Fortunately for you, the victim was unusually robust about it and didn't appear to take you seriously.
"Many people may well have been alarmed by your conduct."
Jamie Adams, defending, presented mitigation at the court hearing.
He said Gillyett is working and that the offence was out of character, has left him and his family shocked and was a result of him binge drinking.
Mr Adams claimed it may have just been Gillyett's hand which was held to the victim's throat rather than anything more concerning.