A robber who launched himself through an after-hours serving hatch in a bungled forecourt raid has been jailed for six years.

Twenty-nine-year-old Grant Miller turned up in a car at Middlemoor Service Station in Workington just after midnight last August, when staff were serving through a hatch. A woman got out of the car and asked the assistant for something that was over the other side of the shop. Once the assistant had moved away, Miller dived into the hatch armed with a hammer.

According to the Carlisle News & Star, a staff member grabbed Miller in a “furious struggle” while a customer on the forecourt side of the hatch pulled at Miller’s legs. Miller got away then fled the scene. However, the hammer was left behind and it had his DNA on it.

Miller, who was described as a man with an “appalling criminal record”, pleaded guilty to robbery and was sentenced at Carlisle Crown Court.

The court heard the robber was hooked on temazepam at the time and the raid was done to fund his addiction.

Judge Paul Batty QC said Miller had appeared before the courts 23 times before. He added that the shop assistant and the customer at the forecourt should both receive an award for their actions.