A masked robber brandished a crossbow and a knife at staff during a terrifying early morning raid on a convenience store, Lincoln Crown Court was told on Thursday afternoon.
Andrew Hough walked into the One Stop Shop on Kingsway, Boston, and demanded cash just minutes after the store opened at 5am.
Phil Howes, prosecuting, told the court: “The member of staff looked up to see a male in a hood pointing a crossbow at her.
“He was wearing a mask with the eyes cut out. He asked for money. She was petrified.”
The 21-year-old woman summoned help from her colleague but when he walked into the store Hough produced a knife.
Hough warned both staff not to raise the alarm but they had already activated a silent alarm.
In the minutes that followed the staff kept Hough talking and when he realised police were on their way he calmly walked off without any cash.
Hough was arrested later after a relative contacted police having recognised him from images published in an appeal.
Hough, 42, of Bowman Close, Boston, admitted charges of attempted robbery, possession of an offensive weapon and possession of a bladed article as a result of the incident on April 19 this year. He was jailed for four years and eight months.
Judge Simon Hirst, passing sentence, told Hough: “There was plainly a significant degree of planning in your offence as evidenced by you equipping yourself with a crossbow. You equipped yourself with a back-up weapon of a knife and you hid yourself by wearing a mask, a hood and gloves.”
Sunil Khanna, in mitigation, said that at the time of the offence Hough had accommodation problems and needed cash for a deposit on a rented house.
“He decided that the only way he could get the money very quickly was to attempt to carry out the robbery. It was a case of sheer desperation.”
Mr Khanna said Hough had managed to kick an addiction to heroin but turned to drink as a substitute.
“He found himself rendered homeless. He spent time on the streets.”