See the moment armed robber targeted a terrified South Tyneside betting shop worker and demanded cash from the till
This is the moment an armed robber targeted a terrified betting shop worker and demanded cash from the till.
Anthony Patterson tried to jump the counter at Betfred in Ellison Street, Jarrow, and demanded money from the lone woman worker.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the terrified assistant handed over £140 in cash from the till before the 35-year-old, who was carrying a weighted object in a cloth, "sprinted" from the shop, which had no customers at the time.
CCTV footage, which has been played in court, showed paint worker Patterson had been in the shop that afternoon and had checked no other customers were inside before he struck in the early evening.
Prosecutor Emma Dowling told the court the worker had been employed for the betting company for three years and said in a victim statement: "Nothing could have prepared me for this. I didn't see it coming.
"I can't get the picture of that man jumping up to the counter out of my head.
"I was absolutely petrified and couldn't believe it was real.
"I looked for help but realised how isolated and vulnerable I was.
"Working alone at night, anything could have happened to me. That's why I handed the money over so quickly.
"He had such an angry, wild look in his eyes. I honestly thought he was coming over the counter to attack me.
"It will take me a long time to get over this."
The victim said she feared bumping into the raider again and was left "scared".
The court heard Patterson handed himself in to the police and confessed he had taken a "cocktail of drink and drugs" but could remember shouting "give me the money" and then snatching it from the woman's hand.
He said got the Metro to Newcastle after the raid and spent the cash on cocaine and alcohol.
Patterson told police his victim "must have been terrified" and said he wished he could say sorry to her.
He added: "No-one deserves that."
Barry Robson, defending, said Patterson heard from friends what had happened at the shop and immediately confessed to the police.
Mr Robson said: "What we are dealing with here is a thoroughly remorseful robber.
"He couldn't remember exactly what had happened. He was tearful watching the CCTV and did actually say that no-one deserves that.
"He is truly ashamed of the situation. That is where he is today, truly ashamed."
Mr Robson said Patterson, who has had no alcohol or drugs since the offence in July, has worked as an industrial spray painter since leaving school and has a good record.
Patterson, of no fixed address, admitted robbery and possessing an offensive weapon, namely a "weighted object in cloth".
Judge Penny Moreland sentenced Patterson to two years imprisonment, suspended for two years, with 150 hours unpaid work, rehabilitation requirments, £1,600 compensation and £1,400 costs orders.
Judge Moreland said the victim was "absolutely terrified" by what happened and that an immediate prison term would usually be "almost inevitable".
But Judge Moreland said Patterson acted "highly out of character" that night, has demonstrated real remorse and has good employment, which allowed her to take a "highly unusual step" in suspending the sentence.