A ROBBER held up a Rugby shopkeeper at gunpoint in front of a horrified mother and her three children – but then turned and fled empty-handed.
After being arrested for that, Jordan Staple was granted bail, and went on to carry out two burglaries, a judge at Warwick Crown Court has heard.
The 21 year-old of Wentworth Drive, Rugby, was jailed for three years and four months after pleading guilty to attempted robbery and possessing an imitation firearm at the time of committing an offence.
He was given a consecutive six-month sentence for two offences of burglary, with another taken into consideration, which he had also admitted.
Prosecutor Nicholas Burn said in September last year Staple decided to carry out a robbery at the Hillside News and Wine shop in Norton Leys which he thought would be an easy target.
He first went to the shop to check it out and tried to buy something, but the note he handed over was rejected by the cashier.
Staple, who had borrowed a heavy and realistic-looking BB gun from a friend, saying he wanted it to threaten someone, then returned about 40 minutes later.
Wearing black clothes and with his hood up, he went to the counter where he pointed the gun at shopkeeper Malleswararao Govada’s face and demanded money.
At first Mr Govada thought it was someone having a joke, but as he realised it was not, Staple said: “Oh just forget it.” and turned and ran out of the shop.
The shopkeeper ran out after him to see which way he had gone, and then returned and called the police.
Mr Burn said there were other customers in the shop at the time, including a woman who was with her three children when Staple walked past her holding the gun, which appeared to be real.
A few days later Staple confessed to his social worker that he had done “something bad.” and the police also identified his DNA through some spittle found at the scene.
Before he was arrested, Staple broke into a house in Hudson Road while the owner was away for two days, and stole electrical items.
And after being granted bail he burgled a house in Rugby Road, Dunchurch, and stole more electrical items – but was identified from a smear of blood on a window he had smashed to get in.
Nick Aldridge, defending, said although Staple had mental health difficulties, he was working and, with the support of his parents, had found his own accommodation.
He added Staple’s cocaine use and peer group pressure were a major factor in his crimes.