Stepson of South Shields murder victim Noddy Rice jailed for knifepoint shop robbery - after leaving Iceland carrier bag containing address details at the scene

Steven Rice
Steven Rice

The stepson of South Shields murder victim David "Noddy" Rice has been locked up for a knifepoint robbery after he left an Iceland carrier bag containing details of his address at the scene.

Steven Rice entered the Spar store, in Lord Street, with his hood pulled up and his face covered in a scarf to conceal his identify.

Police outside the Spar store in Lord Street after the raid.

Police outside the Spar store in Lord Street after the raid.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how the 33-year-old brandished what was described as a "steak knife" at staff and demanded money and tobacco during the offence at 2.30pm on April 14.

Michael Bunch, prosecuting, told the court how one of the shop workers handed over all of the notes from the till and bags of pound coins.

He told the court: "In total just short of £300 was handed over to the defendant."

The worker thought Rice was going to leave the shop, but he then demanded tobacco.

Mr Bunch told the court how Rice dropped an Iceland plastic carrier bag as he left the shop.

He said members of staff followed him out the door and saw him turn left towards Mowbray Road, but Rice brandished the knife towards them and told them to go back inside.

Mr Bunch told the court how police arrived at the shop.

A receipt was discovered inside the plastic bag Rice had dropped which made reference to an address and officers found him in the kitchen at the property.

In a victim impact statement read out by Mr Bunch, the shop worker said: "It has definitely made me feel more concerned about being at work.

"I feel like I will be watching the door all the time.

"This happened in broad day light, with no thought for anyone else."

When interviewed by police, Rice said he knew who had committed the robbery but wasn't prepared to name them.

He later named another individual as the person who carried out the offence.

Mr Bunch told the court how Rice's DNA was found on the plastic bag dropped at the scene.

Rice, of no fixed abode, admitted robbery on the first day of his trial.

The court heard how he had previous offences for robbery which included a knife point robbery, a robbery on a bus and snatching bags from two females.

John Wilkinson, defending, told the court how Rice has had to cope with personal problems in his life.

He told the court: "The murder of his father and the death through a drug overdose of his step-brother, that's one explanation, still have a long term effect on him.

"He knows he's going to receive, at the very least, a lengthy custodial sentence.

Judge Robert Spragg told Rice that he considered him to be a "dangerous" offender.

Judge Spragg said: "You lost a plastic bag in the shop which had correspondence that linked to your address.

"He (the worker) felt shook up (and it) made him worry about going to work. He needed to go back to work because he needed to make a living.

"Your position is obviously aggravated by your previous convictions.

"The sentence I pose is the shortest I can given the serious matter of the offence."

Judge Spragg sentenced Rice to five years and 10 months in prison with an extended licence period of three years.

Father-of-seven 'Noddy' Rice was gunned down by two masked men as he sat in his car at Marsden Lea Car Park on May 24, 2006.

Police named his killer as Allan James Foster but he is yet to be caught.

Foster is believed to have fled the country the day after "Noddy" was murdered.