A MASKED knifeman was foiled by a courageous shopkeeper who fought back against him during a terrifying attempted armed robbery.

Patrick Drake was high on cocaine when he threatened to stab Sandeep Singh at Portskewett’s Premier Stores, but the owner threw an electric heater at him.

Prosecutor Lisa McCormick told how the defendant fled-empty handed and was arrested by armed police minutes later after confessing his crime in the nearby Measure Inn.

She told Cardiff Crown Court: “The shop is also known locally as the Spar and the defendant entered armed with a knife and his face was partially covered with a hood and a scarf.

“He face did become exposed on his approach when he removed his scarf.

“The defendant pointed the knife at Mr Singh and threatened him: ‘Open the till or I will stab you.’

“He pointed the knife towards his face. The shopkeeper picked up and electric heater and threw it at the defendant and then threw other items. The defendant fled without taking anything.”

Miss McCormick added: “He went to the Measure pub and the defendant confessed the armed robbery. He said, ‘I tried to rob the store with a 10-inch knife. I felt like I was going to stab him.’”

Drake, 20, of Old Bulwark Road, Chepstow, pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and having a bladed article on December 19, 2019.

Miss McCormick told the court how the defendant was convicted of another attempted knifepoint robbery at a cashpoint on Newport’s Commercial Street in 2016 when he was 16.

She said: “On that occasion, the defendant had a penknife and told the complainant, ‘If you don’t give me some money, I’m going to cut you, you monkey.’

“He then told his victim, ‘I’m sorry, I’m stressed’ and then attempted to give him a hug.”

Drake was handed a 12-month detention and training order for that offence.

Miss McCormick read out Mr Singh’s victim impact statement in which he said: “Portskewett is a small, friendly community and everyone has been shocked by what happened.

“The people here are very friendly and have been very supportive towards me. They really are beautiful people.

“I feel very sad for the young man because he has ruined his life.”

The court heard that Drake told the police: “I wasn’t getting the help I needed with my mental health and the bailiffs were at my house. I needed money.”

James Evans, mitigating, said: “He is a very disadvantaged young man. There is an element of remorse.”

The judge, Recorder Duncan Bould, told Drake: “Fortunately, Mr Singh is a brave man and he is made of sterner stuff than you and he wasn’t going to open his till and give you his money.

“He began to throw items at you and was shouting for the police to be called.

“That degree of bravery easily overwhelmed you. You approached his shop thinking he was a soft target.”

Drake was locked up for 40 months and must pay a £181 surcharge.