AN armed robber who stole £9,000 from his former workplace at a South Derbyshire shopping park has been jailed for four years.
A masked Martyn Goddard approached a terrified a former colleague after entering Poundworld, in Swadlincote, armed with a six-inch blade.
Derby Crown Court was told how the 48-year-old was driven to rob the store, at The Pipeworks shopping centre, on December 20, after being unable to bring himself to tell his wife that he had lost his job.
Goddard wanted to convince his wife he was still working but had entered a downward spiral after losing his home and having to resort to sleeping in his car.
Knowing that former colleagues would recognise his voice, he gesticulated with the weapon as he went into the warehouse, where only one person was on duty.
He got away with £9,000 after forcing the worker to open the safe and making ‘him fear he was going to be stabbed’.
Sonal Ahya, prosecuting, said: “His wife had been badgering him for a couple of weeks as to why he had no money. He spent the previous night at his wife’s house and said he was going to see his employer about wages owed to him.
“The defendant returned to his wife’s address, said he had collected the wages owed to him and gave her £200.”
But his disguise failed to fool the Poundworld employee after he told police he suspected Goddard was the culprit.
He was subsequently arrested and police recovered £8,700.
Judge John Burgess told him: “Plenty of people get their lives in a mess one way or another.
“What you did was completely disproportionate to the situation you found yourself in.
“You knew where to go because you were a former employee and probably knew the victim would be there on his own.
“He must have been terrified. You didn’t speak, you merely grunted and went through with this robbery.”
Goddard’s car was also confiscated police as it was used in the offence.
John Straw, defending, suggested that the robbery was out of character for Goddard and that he was driven to it out of desperation.
Mr Straw said: “He got himself into a pretty desperate fix.
“He maintained the facade that he was still working but got into the situation of sleeping in his car.
“Had he not been in such a fix, he would doubtless not have committed this offence.
“His marriage he hopes is something which can be saved, but that is probably optimism rather than realism.” Mr Straw said the plan was not particularly sophisticated and that Goddard was always likely to be caught, as he was known at the store.
He added: “He was in many ways bound to be caught because he had worked at the premises and was known to people he came across, albeit disguised.”