Sheffield drug addict wielded knife at two shop workers before robbing post office

Walsham robbed the Stradbroke Post Office in Stradbroke Drive on December 4 last year
Walsham robbed the Stradbroke Post Office in Stradbroke Drive on December 4 last year
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A Sheffield drug addict, who wielded a knife at two terrified shop workers before robbing a post office, has been jailed for more than four years.

Sheffield Crown Court was told how a night of offending carried out by Kristian Walsham, 34, on December 4 last year started at around 5.05pm when he entered the Bargain Booze shop in Birley Moor Crescent.

Walsham, of Beaufort Road, Broomhill entered the shop clutching a knife and with a hood covering his face - which was immediately noticed by the female member of staff behind the till.

Prosecuting, Andrea Parnham, explained: "When he approached the counter the staff member told him to remove his hood as he came towards the till with the knife in his right hand.

"She asked him again and he ignored her and then left the shop."

Around 45 minutes later at 5.50pm, Walsham walked into the Mini Market in Derbyshire Lane, Norton once again with his face covered by his hood and clutching a knife in his hand.

He was also wearing a rucksack.

Ms Parnham told the court: "He walked up to the counter and said to the shop assistant: 'Put the money in the bag' and put his bag down on the counter.

"The assistant pushed an audible alarm button and the defendant started to go towards the door. The assistant followed him to the door and the defendant held the knife in the air towards the shop assistant.

"He didn't say anything but the assistant shouted at him and told him to leave and the defendant then left."

Walsham then targeted the Stradbroke Post Office in Stradbroke Drive, at 6.25pm that evening when the owners of the shop were both working. He had his face covered once again.

The court was told how Walsham walked around the shop floor for a few minutes before walking behind the counter, near to where the female shop owner was stood, and grabbed £440 in notes out of the till.

The female shop owner tried to stop him taking the money, which led to a 'tussle' taking place between the pair. It resulted in her cutting her chin on a metal cabinet nearby, the court heard.

"She screamed, and her husband came out the back. The defendant jumped over the counter and came out of the door."

Neither shop owner reported seeing Walsham in possession of a knife at the time of the incident.

Walsham was arrested by police the following day after staff at the BP garage in Bramall Lane detained him for stealing £15 worth of cake and biscuits. DNA analysis left on a cigarette butt outside the Mini Market in Derbyshire Lane linked him to the string of incidents that took place the previous day, and he was subsequently charged in relation to all three.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of an offensive weapon in a public place, one count of robbery and another count of attempted robbery.

Defending, Andrew Swaby told the court that Walsham was a 'vulnerable' man who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and had most likely been 'preyed upon' by others to carry out the offences.

Mr Swaby added that Walsham was battling an addiction to amphetamines at the time of his offending.

Judge Robert Moore sentenced Walsham to four years and eight months in prison.