"She thought her life was in danger and so tried to give him some money."
Zia Rafiq, aged 38, of Alumwell Road, Walsall, has been jailed for seven years at Birmingham Crown Court after he carried out a robbery.
He was sentenced on April 24, 2019, after pleading guilty to the charges.
Rafiq was armed with an axe when he burst into the Lifestyle Express Store on Wolverhampton Road, Walsall on January 17, 2019, at 7:10 am.
It was heard Rafiq had been banned from the shop for abusing staff when they refused to accept IOUs.
He demanded money while CCTV footage showed him wildly swinging the blade in the direction of a female worker.
Rafiq went into the shop shouting “money, money money” at the shop assistant.
Rafiq threatened the staff member and repeatedly lashed out over the shop counter, leaving her terrified.
One customer who was in the shop at the time of the incident was seen trying to intervene, but Rafiq was not discouraged and continued the frenzied attack.
The scared shop worker dropped some keys but eventually was able to get change cupboard open. She passed a bag of coins containing around £250 to Rafiq and he left the shop.
The prosecutor Benjamin Close said: “She was petrified. She saw the defendant was holding something black and thought it was a gun.
“She thought her life was in danger and so tried to give him some money.”
Rafiq was arrested three days later where police officers found him hiding behind a bed at the home of a family member.
A police officer identified Rafiq from the CCTV images, but he insisted he was elsewhere when the robbery took place.
He eventually pleaded guilty to robbery and possession of a bladed article.
Wendy Miller, defending, explained that Rafiq was a father-of-three whose wife died in a car crash in 2011 and suffered from poor health.
“He was drunk when he carried out this offence. He was in a drunken rage. He had issues with the owner of the shop.”
Judge Roderick Henderson told the defendant: “We can see you manically waving it (the axe) towards her.
“You gave her the impression you were trying to get her with it, leaning over the counter as far as you could and slashing away in mid-air.
“Not surprisingly she was utterly terrified.”
Zia Rafiq received a seven-year prison sentence. He was also jailed for 40 days following an incident when he had shouted racial abuse.