An apologetic robber has been given two years after holding up a Scarborough newsagents with a long bladed Khukuris knife.
Keiron Mealor, 19, apologised to his victim following his arrest. He was caught after police noticed his distinctive neck tattoo on the shop’s security camera system.
The Recorder of York, Judge Stephen Ashurst, told Mealor that although he was taking several mitigating matters, including his apologies, into consideration, “those choosing to rob vulnerable victims have to be punished”.
York Crown Court heard that the store worker victim of the robbery had been alone in the Premier Newsagents shop in Victoria Street when Mealor entered at around 6.30am on February 19, this year, with his face covered by a Manchester United scarf and a hat and armed with the 8in bladed knife.
Mealor, of St John’s Road, Scarborough, demanded cigarettes and whisky.
The shop worker at first asked if he was joking, but, then, said Philip Evans, prosecuting, decided that it was better to lose a bit of stock than getting injured or worse.
However, when the shop assistant moaned that it was only the little shops that got targeted, Mealor said “sorry mate” before leaving with the cigarettes and whisky.
The court, which heard that Mealor has a record of three previous convictions for five offences, was told that he was also asking a shoplifting offence, committed only four hours before the robbery, to be taken into consideration.
Mr Evans said that this involved Mealor stealing 12 cans of lager from Tesco’s Westwood store.
The court was presented by Christine Mercer, mitigating, with a number of references, including one from a local vicar, and letters from Mealor and his doctor.
Miss Mercer told the court that Mealor was still apologising in his letter for what he had done, the references showing that normally he was a very different character.
Adding that only two weeks before the offence Mealor had attempted suicide, suffering from depression since the death of his grandmother and having a drug and alcohol problem.
Telling the court that her client had spent five weeks on remand, his first taste of custody and one he did not want to repeat, Miss Mercer asked the court to pass a suspended sentence.
Telling Mealor that “In your heart of hearts you must know that you have to be punished for what you have done” the judge sentenced him to two years in a Young Offenders Institute.