A WIGAN man who tried to raid a shop armed with a knife has been put behind bars for three years.
Lee Cashum, who had stolen alcohol from the premises just half an hour earlier, was helped in the robbery bid by Dawn Rutter, who was jailed for two years and seven months.
Although her role only involved keeping the shop door open for Cashum a court heard that she knew he had a knife with him and she had a suspended sentence hanging over her at the time.
The couple went into the shop, Price Saver in Wigan, at about 5pm on April 12 this year and Cashum picked up two bottles of cherry Lambrini and four cans of cider and fled with them.
Jonathan Clarke, prosecuting, said that although 37-year-old Rutter was with Cashum there was no suggestion she knew what he up to.
Shortly after Cashum returned but on seeing there were customers in the premises he disappeared.
However, half an hour after his initial visit they both returned again.
The lone woman assistant told him he could not come in but he claimed he had come in to apologise and pay for the items he had taken.
She went back behind the counter and he then pulled out a five inch knife and thrust it towards her and told her to open the till.
Despite him saying he was not joking she refused his demands and when she pressed the panic button the alarm sounded and he ran off through the door which Rutter was holding open for him. They both fled but were arrested shortly afterwards.
Cashum initially denied involvement but later admitted the offences and Rutter claimed she had only been involved because she had been threatened by him.
Cashum, 25, of Kendrick Place, Scholes, pleaded guilty at Liverpool Crown Court to attempted robbery and theft and had seven dishonesty offences taken into consideration.
Rutter, of Dell Avenue, Beech Hill, admitted attempted robbery and breaching her suspended sentence.
The court heard that they both have numerous previous convictions for dishonesty.
Defence barrister, Steven Swift said that Rutter has had problems with tranquillisers since the age of 16 but since the 12-week suspended sentence was imposed in January for attempted theft she has been trying to turn her life around.
The judge, Recorder Vincent Fraser, QC, sentenced her to two years four months imprisonment plus the 12-week suspended sentence to run consecutively.
He said she had been subjected to persuasion but she had done nothing to resist.
Peter Moran, defending, said that Cashum “is a small time prolific offender.
“He is realistic and accepts a prison sentence is inevitable.”
Jailing Cashum the judge said it was a pre-planned offence though he accepted it was “not the most sophisticated of robberies.”