A MORETON-IN-MARSH man burst into a shop, armed with a knife, and set upon the shopkeeper, a court heard.

The “nasty incident” took place at Albion Stores, Albion Street, Cheltenham, on May 5, this year, was captured on CCTV which was shown at Gloucester Crown Court.

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Anthony Smith, of Stockwell Road, pleaded guilty to assault with intent to rob and to possessing a bladed article – a knife – in a public place when he appeared at the court on July 4.

The attack, which involved the defendant grappling with the victim for more than two minutes, only ended when security officers entered the shop and separated the pair.

Nicholas Clough, defending, said: “There are underlying issues here and my client has learning difficulties.

“He had been drinking that night.”

Janine Wood, prosecuting, said: “It was a nasty incident but fortunately the victim suffered no injury.

“But as the defendant is of previous good character I think that a full pre-sentence report is necessary.”

His Honour Judge Ian Lawrie QC said: “He is going to custody for a significant period of time but the only issue is for how long.

“The attack was prolonged.

“Assault with intent to rob, especially when a knife is involved, is a very serious offence.”

Judge Lawrie QC ordered that a pre-sentence report be prepared and he granted Smith conditional bail until August 15, when the defendant will learn his fate.

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