A thief who robbed an Aberdeen shop assistant at knifepoint has been jailed for 20 months.
Christopher Carter, 44, brandished the blade as he demanded the shop worker hand over the contents of the till – but fled with cigarettes and tobacco when she pressed the panic button.
He admitted assaulting and robbing the employee of L&M Stores on the city’s Hutcheon Street on November 5 last year, and of being in possession of a knife.
Fiscal Depute John Richardson told Aberdeen Sheriff Court: “The complainer is employed as a shop assistant and was working at the locus with a colleague on November 5.
At about 8.45pm the colleague left for a cigarette and saw a silver Ford Fiesta pull up.”
The court heard that a man was seen to go into the shop and approached the employee at the counter to ask for tobacco.
Mr Richardson added: “As she turned to face the male she saw he was in possession of a knife.”
The fiscal said the blade was thought to be around five to six inches in length, was not serrated but “similar” to a bread knife. He added the shop worker was told to “provide the contents of the till”.
He said: “The complainer did not comply and pressed the panic button. This caused the accused to grab tobacco and leave the shop.”
The value of the tobacco and cigarettes was £51.52.
Defence agent Paul Barnett said: “He has an extensive English record typical of someone who has substance misuse issues.”
He said his client turned to heroin after his father died and the breakdown of his marriage.
Mr Barnett said Carter ended up in Aberdeen after his release from a sentence last year.
He said: “He had consumed a large quantity of diazepam tablets, his recollection of events is poor.
“He does not offer that as an excuse.”
He said Carter had written a letter to his victim in which he “offers his sincerest apologies” and said he was “disgusted with himself”.
Sheriff Jack Brown told Carter, a prisoner of HMP Grampian, on jailing him: “You entered a shop where you brandished a knife at a staff member and demanded money. That must have been a terrifying experience for that staff member. I’m told that you recognise only a custodial sentence will reflect the seriousness of that offence.”