Southwick Robber jailed after being defeated by Shopkeeper on Christmas Day who hit him over the head

A Southwick robber has been jailed over a failed robbery on Christmas Day which seen him beaten up by a shopkeeper on attempting to hold him at knifepoint

Andrew Savage had gone into the Best One Shop at Southwick Green, Sunderland, on December 25, 2022, armed with a knife and carrying a big sports bag ready to fill with booze.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the lone worker, who feared he was about to be stabbed or killed, picked up a metal shelving bracket and started hitting Savage, who then bundled him to the floor and began swinging the knife at him.

Prosecutor Neil Pallister told the court after a “scuffle and chase” around the shop, Savage dropped his bag and woolly hat then left empty handed.

Blood that had dripped onto the floor from the head injuries caused by being hit with the bracket proved to be a match for Savage’s DNA and he was arrested.

Savage, 50, of Ridley Street, Southwick, Sunderland, admitted robbery and having a bladed article and has now been jailed for four years with a two-year extended licence period.

Mr Recorder Simon Goldberg told Savage, who has 102 previous convictions: “It will have been terrifying to have you threaten him while intoxicated, out of control, with a knife in your hand.”

Prosecutor Neil Pallister told the court Savage had gone into the shop at around 7.30pm while the owner was working alone, with the knife in his hand and had said something threatening, which could not be clearly heard, before reaching for a bottle of Captain Morgan’s rum.

Mr Pallister said: “It appeared he was going to fill the bag he had brought in with bottles of spirits, it was a big sports bag.

“The complainant realised the male was trying to steal from the store. As he was alone he was fearful for his safety, particularly as he had a knife. He didn’t know what the male would do with the knife.

“He described picking up a metal shelf bracket, as he thought the male was going towards him and struck out at the male to protect himself and try and get him out of the shop.

“He accepted he hit the defendant several times on the head and body with the metal shelf bracket.

“He did cause injury to the defendant’s head and caused the defendant to bleed and droplets of blood fell onto the floor of the store.

“The defendant was still wielding the knife and went towards him with the knife in his hands. He bundled him to the floor, swinging the knife towards him.

“At that point, the victim’s wife came on the scene and tried to grab hold of the defendant, to prevent him from stabbing her husband.”

Mr Pallister said Savage left after a “scuffle and chase” around the shop and the police were called.

He added: “Blood samples were taken and proved a match for the defendant’s DNA.”

The victim said in a statement he did not know Savage but recognised him as a customer and added: “I was in genuine fear for my safety and also that of my wife.

“As the male had a knife he could have quite easily stabbed and killed one of us.”
Vic Laffey, defending, said Savage was isolated and had invited a “random gentleman” who he barely knew to his home for Christmas Day.

Mr Laffey added: “Having consumed alcohol he decided to go out and accepts he went out to steal some more.

“It was one of the few shops open on Christmas Day.

“He is ashamed of the way he acted.”