Frank Bird’s staff stopped drunken robbery attempt after recognising raider as loyalty card holder


A drunken man who tried to rob a designer clothes store was arrested after staff recognised him as a loyalty card holder.

Nathan Hirst, 24, spent the day downing pints before going into Frank Bird’s menswear on Cross Square and threatening a 64-year-old shop assistant.

Leeds Crown Court heard how the assistant was cashing up at around 5.30pm on December 10 last year when Hirst walked in and asked to try on some jeans. He returned with three pairs and Hirst told him he was going to take them without paying.

Hirst then told the assistant that he had two options – either to let him leave with two bags full of clothes or give him cash from the till.

The shop’s general manager then arrived and Hirst demanded “protection money” to prevent the shop from “being targeted by Romanians”.

Hirst, of Guys Croft, Wakefield, left empty-handed but was arrested after being recognised as a loyalty card customer and admitted attempted robbery and told police he had been drinking since 9am that day and remembered being in the Strafford Arms pub across the road shortly before. He also recalled an argument in the tailors but little else.

Hirst was given a 15 month sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work.

Judge Rodney Jameson, QC, said: “You are good deal sorrier for yourself than you have a right to be. You have got job, which is a lot more than many people have. You seem to have got yourself into a state for reasons that are not entirely clear.

“On this occasion you have acted in the most bizarre fashion.”