A BRIERLEY Hill armed robber who carried out a terrifying £11,000 robbery has been locked up for seven years.

John Cleaver from Pensnett was masked and armed with a large knife and was still on licence from a ten-year jail sentence when he burst into the Spar store in Rowley Regis with an accomplice.

He jumped onto the counter telling an assistant to open the safe before taking out all the cash and then snatching more money from the till.

The second man had been carrying a screwdriver while a third man acted as a lookout and the trio then made their escape in a Mazda 6 stolen earlier from the driveway of a Kingswinford home.

Amy Jackson, prosecuting, told Wolverhampton Crown Court Cleaver was arrested a short time later and when police checked his mobile telephone they found photographs of a group of men "holding lots of money".

She added Cleaver, of Queen Street, had a long list of previous convictions for offences including robbery and burglary.

He admitted robbing the store of £10,952 and possessing a bladed article.

Judge John Warner told 31-year-old Cleaver: "You had a knife and threats were uttered, but I have to accept there was no actual injury to anyone."

Jon Roe, for Cleaver, said his client had been drinking heavily and taking drugs before the offence which, on his part, had not been pre-planned.

Mr Roe added: "He was persuaded to go along by the others and it is a decision he bitterly regrets, it was the drugs and the alcohol that lead to him committing this offence."

He said Cleaver was "sick to death" of prison having spent much of his adult life behind bars and now he was getting yet another jail term.