Mansfield man jailed for attempted robbery with ‘firearm’

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A MANSFIELD man has been jailed for five years for attempting to rob a convenience store at gunpoint.

Steven Mark Smith (20) was thwarted by the bravery of a male shopkeeper who began pushing him out, Nottingham Crown Court was told.

An imitation pistol had been pointed at a female shopkeeper, who must have been terrified, the court heard.

The raid took place at night on 23rd October at the Attishaya convenience store, Ladybrook Place.

Smith, of Darlton Street, Mansfield, had covered his face with a balaclava and hat.

He told members of the public outside to get out of the way as he was going to rob the shop, said Paul Stimson, prosecuting.

Inside he shouted ‘I want the money.’

The male shopkeeper was in one of the aisles and Smith told him ‘Don’t move, I’m shooting.’

But the shopkeeper started to grapple with him and he ran off.

Smith was arrested some days later. CCTV footage of the raid was shown in court.

He pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and possession of an imitation firearm. He had previous convictions, including assault causing actual bodily harm two years ago, and was subject to a community order at the time of the raid.

His barrister Richard Thatcher said Smith had done all he could to put his youthful difficulties behind him and had tried the Army.

His relationship with his girlfriend had ended six months earlier. He had lost his job and was mixing with the wrong company.

He started drinking heavily and using the drugs cannabis and methadrone or m-cat.

He was deeply remorseful and his family, who were in court, were appalled by the offence.

Judge Nigel Godsmark told him: ‘You were thwarted by the resilience and bravery of one of the shopkeepers. They were not to know the weapon would not fire.”