A woman who disguised herself in a scarf and tried to rob two Bradford shops by threatening staff with a penknife has been sentenced to a suspended prison term.

Danielle Duffree, 31, needed cash for the electricity meter when she embarked on what the judge at Bradford Crown Court described as “half an hour of complete madness.”

She first tried to get money from Muhammed Awan, who runs Awan Newsagent, on Barkerend Road, Bradford.

Prosecutor Helen Chapman said Duffree, of Hendford Drive, Pollard Park, Bradford, went into his shop at 1.45pm on February 25. She pointed a penknife at Mr Awan and there was a scuffle.

Duffree went to nearby Costcutter and tried to rob Gurpal Singh by threatening him with the knife and demanding: “Please, please, please give me £20.”

Mr Singh called the police and Duffree was arrested at the scene. She pleaded guilty to two offences of attempted robbery.

Her solicitor advocate, Tom Rushbrooke, said she had written a letter to the shopkeepers to apologise.

Judge Robert Bartfield said Duffree was of previous good character.

He told her: “It is very unlikely you will ever reoffend. I think you have learned a bitter lesson.”

Duffree was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with a 15 day activity requirement and 100 hours of unpaid work.