Jail for robber Christopher Hall after Burslem raid
KNIFEPOINT robber Christopher Hall has been jailed for three years after threatening a terrified shop worker.
The 29-year-old burst into Dartmouth Street Shop, in Burslem, and demanded cash at about 9pm on September 22.
But the shop worker fought back and even broke Hall's knife during the struggle.
Heather Chamberlin, prosecuting, told Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court: "The worker pulled at the robber's balaclava and was able to see the man was white. He grabbed a wine bottle and told the man to go."
The worker then hit Hall with the wine bottle before running into the street for help. Miss Chamberlin added: "He looked through the shop door and saw the man trying to open the till with the broken knife. He told him to stop and said somebody was coming.
"The man came out of the shop stuffing something in his pocket. He took three packets of cigarettes."
The court heard Hall was traced after he cut his hand and his blood was found on the till.
Hall, of Kinver Street, Smallthorne, later pleaded guilty to robbery.
Kevin Mortlock, mitigating, said Hall had no intention of harming the shopkeeper with the knife.
The court heard Hall – who has written a letter of apology to his victim – had lost his job, home and relationship before the raid.
Jailing Hall, Judge Granville Styler told the defendant: "This was an unpleasant robbery.
"You targeted a vulnerable shop worker, you used a weapon to threaten the victim and you used considerable violence when disguised with a balaclava."
The family running Dartmouth Street Shop today welcomed the three-year prison sentence.
Student Majuran Kathirk-anathan, aged 26, of Cauldon Road, Shelton, whose family run the shop, said: "The worker was in the back filling up stock when the robber first came into the shop.
"He had a knife with him which he tried to stab the assistant with but luckily he missed.
"The worker managed to pull off the robber's mask so he was trying to hide his face from the cameras."
The robbery lasted four minutes and the family were told about the incident in a phone call.
Majuran added: "He rang me to say he had been attacked and we told him to close the shop straight away. We were worried for him but he kept saying that he wasn't hurt."