A young man, desperate for cash to pay his rent stupidly decided to rob his local convenience store.

There, he was known as a customer and had previously applied for a job.

When his victim bravely refused to hand over money Simon Paul Jones ran out empty handed – but not before producing a knife to threaten his victim and punching him to the head a number of times.

On Monday, February 12 at Mold Crown Court Jones, 25, of Old Gaol Road in Montgomery, was jailed for four and a half years.

He admitted attempted robbery of staff member Luke Ridgeway at The Spar shop in the town on January 2.

He also pleaded guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm to PC Andrew Taylor, damaging the £150 wristwatch of police support officer Philip Edwards and common assault against the same officer.

Jones’ licence period was extended by two years and he was told he would not be released until he had served two thirds of his sentence.

It turned out that he had two previous robbery convictions going back to 2009 when he was a youth.

In one he snatched a woman’s handbag in the street and in another he grabbed his victim around the throat in a care home and got away with £90 cash from an office.

Judge David Hale said on this occasion, the defendant was so desperate for money that he decided to rob a local convenience store in his own small town.

"This is not the sort of place where people are used to this sort of thing happening. Montgomery is a pretty peaceful little town,” the judge told him.

Such offences were always considered serious because such small stores and the people who worked in them were vulnerable, the judge said.

The defendant had two previous convictions for robbery and it was clear that he had little empathy with his victims.

"If you think you have to do something, you do it.

"I am of the view that there is a substantial likelihood of serious harm from further outbursts of your temper when you are thwarted in what you want,” said Judge Hale.

Prosecutor Emmalyne Downing played CCTV footage of the robbery bid.

She said that the defendant produced a knife with a two to three inch long blade and repeatedly shouted “give me the money.”

The victim refused and resisted him and was pushed and then punched three or four times before the defendant fled empty handed.

Miss Downing said that the defendant was recognised as a customer at the shop – and was someone who had previously asked for a job there.

Police found that the defendant had been to the homes of two people and admitted what he had done – then got a taxi to Welshpool and had gone to a pub where he was arrested.

In the police station the defendant turned violent and struggled with two officers – and bit one of them.

Defending barrister Jonathan Austin said that the defendant was desperate for money at the time.

He had got behind with his rent and was threatened with eviction.

After the case Deputy Chief Constable of Dyfed-Powys Police, Darren Davies, said: “In Dyfed-Powys Police we take violent crime extremely seriously, and this is a particularly nasty case.

"Not only was an innocent member of the public assaulted at work, but also two police officers as they were going about their duties.

"Nobody should be expected to put up with violence at work.”