Shop assistant's terror as knifepoint robber raided Manor Road Stores in Scarborough

A hooded thug who robbed a Scarborough shop at knifepoint and terrorised an elderly shop assistant has been jailed for six years.

By Court Reporter
Friday, 10th June 2022, 3:28 pm
Updated Friday, 10th June 2022, 3:46 pm

Crack addict Nathan Stone, 28, went into Manor Road Stores with his hood up, Covid mask on and brandishing a six-inch kitchen knife, York Crown Court heard.

Stone, a thickset man, walked up to the till, wielding the blade, just as the 67-year-old female shop worker came into the main store area, said prosecutor Andrew Finlay.

Stone tried to get into the till by unlocking the access code but couldn’t find it.

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Nathan Stone took cash and cigarettes from Manor Road Stores.

“He asked (the named victim) to put her code in but she said she was so frightened she wasn’t able to put the right code in,” said Mr Finlay.

She eventually put the code in to open the till and Stone, who towered over her, helped himself to £300.

“He has a knife in his hand – a kitchen knife five-to-inches long,” added Mr Finlay.

Stone was about to leave the store but then turned back and grabbed £80 of cigarettes before scarpering.

The named victim reported the matter to the store owner who said the woman was “hysterical, very upset and crying”.

Extensive CCTV footage showed Stone walking across fields to the store and then walking back towards his house. He was identified by police who had numerous past dealings with him and was arrested two days after the robbery.

Stone was charged with robbery and carrying a blade. He admitted both offences and appeared for sentence via video link on Friday.

The victim, who had worked at the shop for 13 years, said she had been so profoundly affected by the incident, at about 5.15pm on March 30, that she had not returned to work.

“I didn’t go out for three weeks and my son came to stay with me due to fear,” she added.

“It still makes me cry just thinking about it. It was so scary. I still wake up in the night and seem to cry for no reason at all. My nerves are shot; I’m not the same person I was before this happened (and) I just can’t bring myself to go behind the counter. After my husband dying, this is the worst thing that has ever happened to me in my lifetime.”

The store owner, who was also named in court, said the victim was too afraid to return to work.

He said another staff member had left since the robbery, which meant the shop had lost two employees who were too frightened to return to work.

He said this had forced him and the remaining staff to put in longer hours and work much harder but there had been a financial impact through loss of trade.

He said it was a “heavy loss for a small shop like ours”.

Stone, of Barrowcliff Road, had a “shocking” criminal record, namely 25 previous convictions for 48 offences including wounding and other serious violence, theft, burglary, harassment and drug-dealing.

Nick Peacock, for Stone, said he had robbed the store to get funds for his crack-cocaine habit and pay off a £3,500 debt to his dealers.

“He thought the only thing he could do was to go and rob this shop,” added Mr Peacock.

Judge Sean Morris, the Recorder of York, blasted Stone for the “appalling” incident which had left his victim with post-traumatic stress disorder.

He told the burly defendant: “You have an appalling criminal record (and) have been convicted in the past for burglary, violent disorder, assault, wounding, harassment and supplying Class A drugs, so you (too) have peddled drugs to people, so you’ve inflicted on others the misery that you found yourself suffering from.

“You were quite happy to (previously) peddle this filth around North Yorkshire and when you got in debt with the people who were peddling filth to you, you went and brandished a knife at a pensioner who was working (in the shop). It terrified her.”

Stone was jailed for six years. He will serve half of that sentence behind bars before being released on prison licence.