A knife-wielding woman who robbed St Giles Filling Station in Gilesgate, Durham and threatened to slit the cashier’s throat has been jailed for six years.

Durham Crown Court heard how Joanne Metcalfe entered the forecourt store shortly after 6am on August 24 this year, and filled a shopping basket full of items. As the cashier – a woman who was working alone - finished scanning the items through the till, Metcalfe brandished a knife in her face and told her she would slit her throat if she didn’t give her any money.

Fearing for her life, the terrified cashier opened the till and Metcalfe made off with a quantity of cash and the stolen goods. She was arrested a few minutes later in a street behind the petrol station.

Thirty-nine-year-old Metcalfe pleaded guilty to robbery and possession of a bladed article in a public place. She appeared at Durham Crown Court last week where she was jailed for six years.

PC Anna Pittam of Durham City CID, said: “The victim was extremely brave to have gone through the process with us for what was a terrifying ordeal during which she genuinely feared for her life.