A KNIFEMAN who tried to rob a lone 65-year-old newsagent to get cash for drugs wore no disguise and had the same clothes on when he was arrested the day after, a court heard.

Drug addict Marcus Henry, 23, demanded money from plucky corner shop co-owner Dorothy Holgate, ordering her to empty the till and put the contents in a carrier bag.

The defendant, of Colne Road, Brierfield, said to have a record for ‘going round with knives’ admitted attempted robbery and possessing an article with a blade or point at Dave’s Newsagents on Burnley Road, Brierfield, last December 2. He was jailed for four years.

Virginia Hayton, prosecuting, said Mrs Holgate and her husband had owned the store for 14 years.

Last December 2, she was working alone after her husband had left the premises about 9.30am. A little after noon, Henry came in, stood near the pet food and kept looking back towards the main door.

The victim immediately became suspicious as the defendant was walking around the shop very slowly, still glancing towards the door and she thought he was going to steal something.

Miss Hayton said Mrs Holgate asked him what he wanted and Henry walked towards the counter, with a carrier bag in his right hand and a knife in the other.

The defendant put his hands on the counter, leaned over and told the victim: “I want you to empty everything out of the till into the bag.”

The victim answered: “I beg your pardon?” leaned over and pressed the panic button.

Henry realised what she had done and immediately ran out of the shop, she followed and watched him run down Albion Street and turn into Sackville Street.

Henry had been caught on CCTV and was later recognised in the stills by a former civilian detention officer, who had had dealings with him at Burnley Police Station.

He was detained outside a takeaway near Nelson Police Station.

Sentencing, Judge Andrew Woolman told the defendant: “It is a serious attempted robbery because there was a knife and because it was a vulnerable victim.”