Bungling knife-wielding robber gets ear sliced off by brave South Yorkshire shopkeeper

editorial image
Have your say

This knife-wielding robber had the top of his ear sliced off by a have-a-go hero shopkeeper with a broom handle.

The bungling robber has had plastic surgery at Sheffield’s Hallamshire Hospital on his ear – but will miss his next appointment after being jailed for three years.

Leigh Garnett managed to escape despite a customer trying to lock him in the shop but later handed himself into police saying: “I’m desperate, I need to go to prison to get off drugs.”

Sheffield Crown Court heard how the 40-year-old barged into the store and lunged over the counter and demanded money before coming to blows with the shop worker who fought him off with a broom handle.

The dramatic attempted robbery, captured on CCTV, showed a customer locking Garnett in the shop before he grabbed packets of tobacco which he dropped before fleeing.

But around an hour after the evening raid on July 15 of this year, Garnett confessed his crimes to police and said he needed to be sent to prison because of his drug addiction – and said he feared he would ‘end up dead’.

Matthew Wain, prosecuting, said Garnett had made ‘persistent advances with the knife’ to try to get to the cash from the till.

The shop worker who tackled him said in a victim impact statement he had been left ‘extremely frightened’.

He said: “I have been extremely frightened by this incident, I have suffered a loss of sleep and peace because of it.

“I’m scared he or his associates will come back to get me.”

Andrew Walker, defending, asked for ‘extra credit’ to be given to Garnett for his guilty plea at the first opportunity and because he had handed himself into police.

He said: “He felt he needed locking to save him from his drug addiction which he said would kill him if he carried on.

“He has used his time since the incident to access help and he is now on methadone.”

The Judge Recorder Margia Mostafa said she took into account the ‘great deal of mitigation’ and jailed Garnett for three years saying the incident at Booze Plus in Clifton, Rotherham, had been ‘extremely frightening’.

Garnett, of Beaumont Drive, Herringthorpe, Rotherham, pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and possession of a bladed weapon.

He blew a kiss to his family as he was led away to the cells.