Two teenage robbers have been locked up for six years each for holding up shops at knifepoint.
The victim of the robbery at Ladbrokes in Kettering thought she was going to die when confronted by a 6ft 6ins tall youth with a large knife, who repeatedly told her to hand over money.
Both youths, who are 17 and cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared at Luton Crown Court on Tuesday.
Edward Renvoize, prosecuting, outlined a series of offences, saying the tall youth had first gone into the Premier Store in Irchester Road, Rushden, at 4pm on September 26 last year. He was seen fiddling in his pocket before grabbing the cashier and threatening him with a large knife. He fled empty handed when the cashier fell to the floor.
Later that evening he went to the One Stop store in Wellingborough Road, Rushden, and jumped over the counter. He was again armed with a large knife and repeatedly demanded money.
The panic alarm was activated and he left with nothing.
At 7.50pm the next day, he and the other youth went into Ladbrokes in Stamford Road, Kettering. Both sat down and were asked to remove their hoods by a member of staff.
They left but later returned when the tall youth jumped over the counter and produced a kitchen knife, again demanding cash.
The shorter youth stayed on the customer side of the shop and placed his hand on the arm of the other woman in the shop, telling her to look away. The cashier was pushed into the safe room and the youth grabbed £6,500.
They left and got into a car driven by an accomplice, who has not been caught.
Mr Renvoize said the youths were identified from CCTV and arrested. They made no comment to police questions and were bailed.
At 9pm on October 14, they carried out a copy-cat robbery at Corals in Bedford Road, Kempston. The taller youth was armed with an imitation gun and the other held an 8in kitchen knife. The gun was put to the head of a cashier and he was forced to open the safe.
A total of £500 was taken.
The tall teenager pleaded guilty to two attempted robberies in Rushden and admitted the Kettering robbery. He denied the Kempston robbery and having an imitation gun, but was convicted by the jury. The other youth pleaded guilty to the Kettering robbery. He denied the Kempston robbery and having an offensive weapon, but was also convicted.
Judge David Farrell QC said the robberies involved the targeting of vulnerable shop workers and sentenced both youths from Bedford to six years’ detention.