Man robbed South Shields Spar shop after girlfriend refused to give him £20

A raider who robbed his local Spar shop after his girlfriend refused to give him £20 has been put behind bars.

Steven Gill told his partner "If you don't give me the money I'm going to go and do something stupid to get it" before he left the house on his bike.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how the 38-year-old travelled "just around the corner" to the Spar in Lord Street, South Shields.

He then demanded cash, threatened to stab the lone store worker and left him "terrified".

Steven Gill

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Prosecutor Kevin Wardlaw told the court: "Just before the robbery he had asked his partner for £20.

"When she refused to give him the money he said 'if you don't give me the money I'm going to go and do something stupid to get it'.

"He then left on his bike."

The court heard Gill waited until two customers inside the shop had been served before he approached the counter.

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Mr Wardlaw said: "He had his right hand in his jacket pocket, giving the impression he had a weapon and said 'give me the money from the till or I will stab you'."

The court heard the terrified worker believed Gill, who he recognised as a customer, was armed and handed over £30-£40.

The victim said in a statement presented to the court: "I was petrified, thought I was going to be stabbed and seriously injured.

"I took the threat very seriously."

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He added that he no longer felt safe at work, although did return to his job but feared trouble could follow at his home.

The court heard Gill's motivation for getting money was to buy drugs.

One day after the robbery, which happened on September 7, police received a report a man was threatening two males with a knife at King Street in the town.

Gill, who was on the roof of one of the shops, jumped to the ground and moved towards the officers who attended the scene.

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He was tasered before he dropped the knife and was detained and handcuffed.Gill, of Westerhope Road, South Shields, admitted robbery and possessing an offensive weapon.

Prosecutors accepted Gill did not have a knife during the robbery, despite his threat to use one.

Assistant Judge Advocate General Edward Legard sentenced him to 34 months behind bars.

The judge said: "You asked your partner for money and when she refused you said 'I'm going to go and do something stupid to get it'.

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"You certainly lived up to that promise."

Judge Legard added: "Crimes of this type are rightly considered to be extremely serious, particularly when committed against those who are responsible for running shops or small businesses that are dedicated to providing much-needed service to their local community."

Steven Reed, defending, told the court how Gill has shown remorse and added he has no previous convictions for robbery, violence or weapons.

Mr Reed said Gill made no attempt to hide his identity during the shop robbery and was acting out of desperation.

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