A man launched a string of expletives at a judge as he was being sentenced for robbery at Preston Crown Court.

Graham Kennedy appeared at court to be sentenced on one count of robbery and one count of possession with a bladed article.

The charges related to a robbery at the Co-op store in Berry Lane, Longridge, on Friday, February 17.

CCTV of the incident was played in court showing Kennedy enter the store at around 10.20pm and approach a male member of staff, Matthew McComb, wielding a knife.

He held the knife towards Mr McComb and grabbed him on the shoulder, pushing him towards the till and saying “get her to give me the money.”

A female worker behind the till, Lucy Whittle, subsequently emptied both tills and handed Kennedy cash that totalled £520, mostly in notes.

He also demanded cigarettes and was given approximately 10 packets, which he stuffed into his pockets.

Kennedy left the store after the female worker had managed to activate the two panic alarms behind the tills. Police arrived shortly after.

After the CCTV had finished playing, His Honour Judge Robert Altham commented that Kennedy had spent most of the time during the playing of the CCTV in court “nonchalantly cleaning his glasses.”

This led to Kennedy calling Judge Altham a “c**t” and a “w****r” before telling him to “f**k off” as he was taken back downstairs out of the dock.

Kennedy was given the opportunity to apologise to the judge, but when he returned to the courtroom, the dock officer informed him Kennedy said: “Tell him to give me more time. Tell him to do his best. I ain’t apologising to nobody, boss.”

When it was established cowardly Kennedy would not be returning to the courtroom to face his punishment, Judge Altham indicated the sentencing would proceed without him.

Mitigating for the defendant, Rick Holland said Kennedy had been struggling with his mental health since the loss of his mother in 2019 and then his long-term partner in 2020.

Mr Holland added there was a “lack of any serious planning.”

On the subject of contempt of court, he asked the judge only to bear in mind the offences as a whole.

Sentencing, Judge Altham said: “In this case the absent defendant pleaded guilty at a plea and trial preparation hearing to robbery and possession of a bladed article, both committed on February 17, 2023.

"The defendant is absent because there was an outburst on his part in the court.

“This was a vulnerable premises staffed at night by two people, which is no doubt why it was targeted.

“In his pre-sentence report but did express some remorse but did also seek to minimise his actions to some extent.

“On the subject of contempt, he stood in the dock and shouted at me that I was a 'c**t' and a 'w****r'.

"I provided written notification to him I was considering contempt of court proceedings.

“The language used was grossly offensive but it was a short-lived incident.”

Judge Altham sentenced Kennedy to three years and eight months in prison for the robbery and bladed article offences, and a further six weeks to run consecutively for the contempt of court offence.