A knife-wielding 15-year-old has been detained after threatening a shop assistant with a blade while demanding she hand over cash.
Kirklees Youth Court heard how the teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, entered Candyman in Batley Shopping Centre on Saturday November 30 pointing a blade at 66-year-old Ellen Whitaker.
Prosecutor James Weekes said after the teenager demanded she give him money from the till, Mrs Whitaker restrained him and threw him out of the shop.
He said: “Mrs Whitaker was conducting her duties then turned around to see him branding a knife, which was six inches in length.
“He shouted at her ‘give me the money’. At first she thought it was a fake knife.
“He repeated the demand and she pressed the shop’s panic alarm.”
Mrs Whitaker was working in the shop alone, while the owner, Dennis Fisher, was stacking shelves in the back, the court heard.
The 15-year-old proceeded to walk behind the counter while repeatedly demanding she hand over the money.
Mr Weekes said: “Mrs Whitaker grabbed his hood and pushed him out of shop telling him to go away.
“He walked up the street and called back ‘I will get you’. Mrs Whitaker was considerably shaken by the incident.”
The teenager fled and Mrs Whitaker called the police, who arrested the youth later that day.
While travelling to the station, he revealed to police where he had hidden the blade.
Mr Weekes added: “During his interview he said he wanted to buy cannabis.
“It was a frightening incident for Mrs Whitaker but for her quickness of thought and bravery, it could have been much worse.”
Tahir Mahmood, mitigating, told the court the teenager was having difficulties at home.
He said: “At 11-months-old he was abandoned by his father.
“He is a young man who felt estranged at home and felt he has no one to turn to.
“He has been using cannabis for last year or so, but he sought out help on his own for his cannabis abuse.”
The 15-year-old spoke only to say he was very sorry for his actions.
He pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and possession of a bladed article.
Magistrate Barry Lockwood told the youth: “It is a very serious offence.
“You proceeded to single out a woman and threatened her with a knife to get money out of shop. You were also verbally abusive to the woman.
“It was a very brave action by the older woman who was threatened with a knife.”
He sentenced the boy to an eight-month detention training order, four months of which will be served in custody and four months in the community.