Kevin Davies began to shout and swear at the owner of Times Furniture, on Main Street, Bulwell, and took a 12-inch-long knife from his pocket, saying: “If I don’t get the money it will be inside you.”
The owner took him into the office to get him away from other customers and when his son tried to intervene, Davies said: “You stay down there or you'll get it.”
After his credit card was refunded, Davies left, saying: “Make sure you stay away.”
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The incident happened on January 12, 2019, and it took two years for a psychiatrist to confirm his fitness to plead, prosecutor Kevin Jones added.
In a statement, the owner, who has run the store for 23 years, said: “Being robbed at knifepoint has affected me massively. Before the incident I enjoyed coming to work – I felt I could stand outside and speak to anybody.”
Afterwards he felt extremely anxious and, were it not for his son’s help, said he ‘might not be here now.’
“Even now, three years later, I still think about what happened,” he said. “I have reminders everywhere I look.”
Bianca Brasoveanu, mitigating, said Davies’ mental health was at an 'all-time low' but he is now taking medication and in regular contact with his psychiatric nurse.
Davies, of Robin Hood Drive, Hucknall, pleaded guilty to robbery and possession of a blade, in May 2021.
Judge Steven Coupland described it as a ‘terrifying incident’ and said: “Ordinarily the only question would be how long you have to go to prison for.”
But Davies’ ‘considerable mental health issues’ were aggravated by the death of his wife and the loss of a ‘thriving’ business.
The judge said Davies was displaying early signs of Alzheimer's disease and had a psychotic episode as part of a depressive illness.
“You wouldn't have done it but for that illness,” Judge Coupland said. “Prison would be catastrophic for you.”
Davies received a three-year community order with ten rehabilitation days, and was banned from all contact with his victim, at Nottingham Crown Court.