Sunderland robber waited his turn in the queue before knife threat

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A HAPLESS raider who robbed a store of £35 after politely standing in a queue to get to the counter has been jailed for six years.

Brian Butler, pictured, who was dressed in a camouflage outfit and hood, handed a note to the cashier saying: “don’t make a sound. I’ve got a Stanley knife and a hammer. I want £20, £10 and £5”.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the counter assistant at the Spar garage at Ryhope Road, Sunderland, handed over the cash and the 31-year-old left the shop.

The whole incident was captured on CCTV from inside the store and showed Butler patiently waiting his turn before handing over his written demand.

He was holding a carrier bag in his hand which the male assistant believed contained the weapons.

Butler, of Shields Place, Houghton, was arrested after police viewing the footage recognised his face.

He admitted robbery on the basis he did not actually have any weapons with him, but accepted the store assistant would have believed that he did.

The shop worker told police after the incident: “It has left me shaken and apprehensive about continuing my role as a retail assistant.

“At the time I was sure the male would harm me in some way unless I gave in to his demands.”

Butler, who has convictions for more than 60 offences, also admitted carrying out a burglary at a house where a 17-year-old girl was alone inside.

And he asked for seven more house raids, where more than £12,000-worth of property was stolen, to be taken into consideration.

Jamie Adams, defending, said Butler’s offending history is down to drug use.

Mr Adams said: “He is an intelligent man and he is trying to make a clean breast of everything.

“He wants to use his time during the inevitable custodial sentence constructively, to once and for all conquer his addiction.”

Judge John Milford sentenced Butler to six years behind bars for all of the offences.

The judge told him: “It is clear from the probation report you are not without ability.

“What drags you into re-offending is your addiction to heroin.

“Until that is overcome, which is a choice only you can make, you will, I regret to say, continue to trouble the courts and have a rather miserable life as a result.”