An armed thug who tried to raid an off-licence was stopped in his tracks when a have-a-go hero shop keeper sliced his EAR off – with a broom handle, a court heard.
Leigh Garnett, 40, was forced to have plastic surgery to fix the top of his left ear following his failed burglary attempt at the shop when he came to blows with the shop worker.
But the lug-less robber will miss his next hospital appointment – after being jailed for three years.
Sheffield Crown Court, South Yorks., heard how Garnett barged into the store in nearby Rotherham, lunged over the counter and demanded money.
But the shopkeeper fought him off with a broom handle and a customer attempted attempted to lock him in the shop.
Knife-wielding Garnett then managed to escape but later handed himself into police saying: “I’m desperate – I need to go to prison to get off drugs.”
Matthew Wain, prosecuting, said Garnett had made “persistent advances with the knife” to try to get to the cash.
The shop worker who tackled him said in a victim impact statement he had been left “extremely frightened”.
The unnamed worker said: “I have been extremely frightened by this incident, I have suffered a loss of sleep and peace because of it.”
Adding: “I’m scared he or his associates will come back to get me.”
The dramatic attempted robbery, captured on CCTV, showed a customer locking Garnett in the shop before he grabbed packets of tobacco which he dropped before fleeing.
But around an hour after the raid on July 15 of this year – Garnett confessed his crimes to police and said he needed to be sent to prison because of his drug addiction – fearing he would “end up dead”.
Andrew Walker, defending Garnett, said: “He felt he needed locking to save him from his drug addiction which he said would kill him if he carried on.
“He has used his time since the incident to access help and he is now on methadone.”
Mr Walker added Garnett “would now miss walking his sister down the aisle at her wedding” after their father passed away recently.
Jailing Garnett for three years, the Judge Recorder Margia Mostafa said the incident at the Booze Plus outlet had been “extremely frightening”.
Garnett, of Rotherham, pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and possession of a bladed weapon.
Garnett blew a kiss to his family as he was led away to the cells.