An armed raider from South Tyneside who left a female shop worker terrified has been put behind bars.
Lee Robins, 31, of Prince Edward Road, South Shields, went into a store in North Shields and demanded cash while threatening the 54-year-old assistant with a knife.
The victim pressed a panic alarm and Robins fled empty-handed but, Newcastle Crown Court heard, the woman was left too scared to return to work.
Robins handed himself in to police just hours later, and said he did it because he thought he would get more help gaining access to his child if he was locked up.
Robins was jailed for two years and eight months.
Judge Tim Gittins told him: “You were, it would appear, in drink and upset about the lack of contact with a child of a former partner.
“The account you gave about your motive is bizarre to say the least. You decided you would get more help from the probation service and those in authority to gain contact with your child by being in prison.
“That is of little comfort to the lady you threatened.”
Prosecutor Kevin Wardlaw said Robins produced a knife and told the woman: “Hand the money over and I will not hurt you.”
“She immediately pressed a panic button and he fled.”
He said Robins handed himself in to police in Newcastle three hours later and confessed, but the incident had a significant affect on his victim.
He said: “She had a panic attack when she tried to return to work.”
Robins, who has previous for domestic violence, pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and possessing an offensive weapon.
Brian Hegarty, defending, said: “In many regards the motivation for this offence is truly baffling.”