A MAN who threatened staff with a knife during an attempted robbery at Aldi has been jailed for five years.

Joseph Stephen Dixon, of Bradbury Road, pleaded guilty to charges of theft, threatening with a bladed article and attempted robbery during a hearing at Chester Crown Court on April 3.

The charge of attempted robbery drew a four-year sentence, with a further 12 months for threatening with a knife and two months, to run concurrently, for theft.

Police were called to the Dene Drive supermarket around 3.30pm on Sunday, March 4, following reports of staff being threatened with a knife.

A spokesman said at the time of Dixon’s arrest: "A man had stolen money from a till and brandished a knife after being restrained by staff as he attempted to leave the store.

"He threatened staff and customers with the knife and attempted to steal more cash from a closed till.

"After failing to open the till he left the store.”

Dixon fled on foot, but was arrested nearby a short time later.

Det Con Paul Cundy, of Northwich CID, said: “Dixon terrified the staff and customers when he walked into Aldi that day, leaving them fearing that they were going to be seriously hurt or worse and he fully accepted that his behaviour caused the people in the store to fear for their safety.

“When interviewed Dixon showed little remorse, but fully admitted to the offence.

"This sentence will hopefully send a clear message that we will do everything in our power to put offenders who commit knife crimes before the courts.”

Cheshire Police held a knife surrender week earlier this year as part of 'Operation Sceptre', which also saw work with Trading Standards and Crimestoppers to combat the issue.

It is illegal to have a knife other than a Swiss Army Knife in your possession in a public place without good reason, as well as to sell a knife to anyone under 18.

It is illegal to use any knife – even a legal one – in a threatening way.

Aldi has been approached for comment.