Nanu Miah, 35, of no fixed address, admitted pointing a 12-inch bread knife towards shop assistant Wendy Hayes in Martins, in Whitmore Way, on Wednesday, June 10.
Basildon Crown Court was told that Miah, who has 49 previous convictions for theft or attempted theft, had only been given a suspended prison sentence the morning he carried out the terrifying robbery.
He had admitted shoplifting at Basildon Magistrates Court earlier that day and magistrates agreed not to lock him up.Well, why should they? He’s never going to be pointing a breadknife at them, after all…
Mathew Dance, mitigating, said that some of the money went towards buying more drugs.Errr…. That’s not really mitigation, is it?
He said: “Miah is a man who has had a problem with substance misuse. He is addicted to crack cocaine and heroin and has homelessness issues.
“He understands it was foolish and is deeply remorseful.”Of course he is. He probably was all 48 other times, as well.
Judge David Owen-Jones, sentencing, told Miah: “Within a very short time, having been made the subject of a suspended sentence by a magistrates court, you were at it again but more seriously.
“You branded the knife in a threatening fashion towards Wendy Hayes, who was by herself. It must have been a terrifying ordeal for her.
“She was clearly vulnerable and the threat must have had a scarring effect on that lady.
“You have an appalling record for dishonesty and you committed this crime to fund a drug habit.”
He handed Miah a three-year prison sentence and will be released on licence after a year-and-a-half.Which doesn’t sound long enough, but is probably the best the judge could do, sad to say, under the present system.
The Echo requested Miah’s mugshot, from Essex Police, but a spokesman said none had been taken.Really? Guess Miah isn’t the only one in this tale with ‘an appalling record of dishonesty’…