A ROBBER who threatened a Co-op supervisor with a Stanley knife when he tried to stop him stealing food from the store has been jailed for three years.

Joshua Appleby pulled the weapon on Daniel Pelissier, saying: “You had better let me go,” during the confrontation in the shop in Bingley Road, Saltaire, at 10.30pm on May 20.

Appleby, who has 19 pages of previous convictions, was sentenced at Bradford Crown Court on a video link to Leeds Prison after pleading guilty to robbery and possession of an offensive weapon.

Prosecutor Alisha Kaye said that he started taking things off the shelves to steal and Mr Pelissier told him to put them back.

When Appleby refused, saying the items of food were his, Mr Pelissier rang security to stop him leaving the store, the court heard on Friday.

It was then that Appleby produced the knife and left the shop with £42 of stolen goods.

The police were alerted and spotted Appleby in nearby Wycliffe Gardens.

When challenged, he gestured at the officers with the knife and was CS gassed and handcuffed, Miss Kaye said.

He later made no reply to all questions asked by the police.

Appleby’s lengthy criminal record included offences of shop theft, aggravated vehicle taking, racially aggravated harassment and possession of drugs. He had no previous convictions for robbery or possession of a weapon.

He was in breach of a conditional discharge imposed in April for shoplifting.

Miss Kaye said that Mr Pelissier told the police he carried on working as normal after the knife threat because he was used to dealing with shoplifters.

Appleby’s barrister, Emma Downing, said: “These are serious offences which clearly pass the

custody threshold.”

The offence began as theft and turned into a robbery for the final few seconds that Appleby was in the store.

He wanted to steal food to buy alcohol and had not targeted the shop to rob it.

Appleby had pleaded guilty and was remorseful and ashamed of his actions.

He had been alcohol-dependent for 10 years, drinking all day.

Appleby had been held in custody since May 22 and had completed a detoxification programme while on remand.

He was a qualified gardener and had a home with his partner when he was released.

Judge David Hatton QC told Appleby: “You have an extensive and unenviable record of committing criminal offences, many of which are thefts from shops.”

On this occasion, theft turned into robbery when he produced a Stanley knife and threatened Mr Pelissier when he challenged him.