A BUNGLING criminal who suddenly realised he knew his victim during a knife-point robbery at a Carlisle store pulled down his face-mask to say hello – before threatening to kill the woman.

The blunder came a few seconds after 24-year-old Jamie Wade had tried to punch his accomplice Andrew Morris.

He dodged the blow – but he was so intoxicated after taking illicit pills that he staggered and fell over, crashing into some shelves.

CCTV images of the terrifying raid were played at Carlisle Crown Court as Wade and his co-defendant Morris, 36, were sentenced.

Both admitted robbery.

Prosecutor Gerard Rogerson said the two robbers - their faces hidden under masks and hoodies - struck at the Foreways convenience store in Blackwell Road, Carlisle, at 8.15pm on October 4.

Video footage showed Wade walking up to the counter, armed with both a hammer and a knife. As the 26-year-old shop assistant stood at the till behind a plastic screen, Wade demanded money – and then used the hammer to shatter the screen, forcing the woman to dodge aside.

The alarmed shop assistant handed over cash and the till.

As this happened, Morris was seen staggering in the background, staring intently at a sweets display.

Frustrated he was not being helped, Wade strode over to Morris and threw a punch, causing his accomplice to stagger, and then collapse.

Morris managed to stand up and joined Wade at the counter, where he slowly scooped coins into a bag. Towards the end of the robbery, said Mr Rogerson, Wade recognised the shop assistant and so pulled down his face mask to apologise.

Mr Rogerson said: “He’d recognised her as a relative of his, saying: ‘I didn’t realise you worked in this shop.’ He then told her if she gave his name to the police he’d kill her.”.

Mr Rogerson said: “She’s not able to leave the house currently without suffering panic attacks, her heart racing; the emotional effect means she often finds herself crying uncontrollably.”

Previously outgoing and confident, she now worried about everything. Jeff Smith, for Wade, of Meadow View, Harraby, said he accepted being the prime mover and coercing Morris into the robbery.

Kim Whittlestone, for Morris, of Cant Crescent, Upperby, said CCTV images showed he was heavily intoxicated during the robbery, and ‘kept himself to himself’ until his co-defendant struck him.

Judge Nicholas Barker said: “It was clearly a terrifying experience and ordeal for [the shop assistant].” Judge Barker jailed Wade for five years and Morris for three years and four months.