A HUNGRY man who attempted to rob a chip shop in a desperate bid to get food has been jailed for five years.
Keith Dean, 41, held a screwdriver to the back of a woman working in the Lytham Road shop and told her: “It’s a hold up, I’ve got a knife. It isn’t a joke.”
The woman’s partner, who also worked in the shop, managed to drag him out and pull him to the ground following the incident on October 15 last year.
Dean, who lives on Dean Street, South Shore, admitted attempted robbery.
He was also given an extra months jail on top for a bail offence.
The sentencing hearing at Preston Crown Court was played CCTV footage of the movements inside the restaurant
Bob Sastry, prosecuting, said Dean had initially been looking through the shop window before going in 10 minutes later and asking for fish and chips.
He looked inside his jacket and trousers for money and was heard to say he did not have any.
Several minutes later Dean approached the woman worker and put a hand around her back.
He held what turned out to be a screwdriver and allegedly and threatened her with a blade, telling her it was a hold up.
The woman described Dean as being very gentle and said she had not been hurt in the incident.
She said although she had felt something on her back, she had not thought it was a knife.
The defendant said he wanted money from the till and some chips.
The woman’s partner grabbed him and there was some pushing and shoving, with Dean being put out of the shop.
It was then claimed Dean had told him: “If you come any closer I’m going to stab her up.”
When arrested, Dean told police he was starving, had no money and thought he would try to get something to eat.
He had drunk two cans of super-strength lager earlier in the evening.
The court heard he had convictions for one robbery, attempted robbery and another robbery on his record.
Wayne Jackson, defending, said Dean had wanted food because he was hungry and pointed out the woman had not been held forcibly.
He said: “This isn’t the most serious form of attempted robbery.
“He had not eaten for some time.
“He pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity.”
Sentencing Dean, Recorder Michael Leeming said: “This was a deliberate attempt to rob this shop which is a soft and vulnerable target”.