January 15, 2021 5.22 pm This story is over 34 months old

Serial shoplifter jailed for two hold-ups in ten minutes

He needed money to fuel his heroin addiction

A man who robbed a shop just minutes after trying to hold-up a pedestrian has been jailed at Lincoln Crown Court.

Daniel Nichols, 30, of Friars Lane, Lincoln, walked into the Deli shop on Newland in Lincoln and went straight behind the counter.

Katrina Wilson, prosecuting, said that the shop worker, who had been preparing an order in a back room, emerged to find Nichols with his hand in the till.

“She was shocked. She asked what he was doing and he said that he was taking some money.

“She tried to get him out of the shop but the defendant told to get off him or he would stab her. He took between £10 and £15 from the till and he walked out.”

Miss Wilson said that just 10 minutes earlier Nichols walked up to a pedestrian further along Newland and threatened him saying “I’ve got a knife. Give me your money or I’m going to stab you.”

The victim told Nichols to go away and then ran off. Moments later he looked back to see that Nichols had made no attempt to follow him.

Miss Wilson told the court that although Nichols told both victims that he had a knife no weapon was seen.

The two victims each called police and later in the day officers were driving along St Rumbold Street when they spotted a man fitting the description of the robber.

Miss Wilson said: “He was arrested and taken to the police station.

“He denied the incident involving the pedestrian but admitted taking money from the till of the deli but said he made no threats to the shop worker.

“He told the officers he was a heroin addict and had stolen the money to feed his habit.”

The court was told that Nichols had 28 previous convictions for shoplifting and others for burglary but no previous offences of robbery on his record.

Nichols admitted charges of attempted robbery and robbery arising out of the incidents on the morning of December 10, 2020. He was jailed for 22 months.

Mark Watson, in mitigation, said that the offences happened a few days after Nichols was released from an earlier jail sentence and has now been recalled to prison to complete that sentence.

“He doesn’t recall these offences. What is clear is that these were acts of desperation.”