A BRAVE shopkeeper wrestled a knife from a violent robber who had waited until the store was empty before demanding cash.

Ben Battle had gone to Hambro News and Convenience Store in Rayleigh on May 14 this year, and waited until it was just him and the shopkeeper inside, before showing the knife and demanding cash.

CCTV footage of the attempted robbery was played at Battle’s sentencing hearing at Basildon Crown Court on Monday.

The footage showed the confrontation and the robber trying to get behind the counter, followed by a struggle with the shopkeeper.

During this, the man managed to wrestle the knife away from Battle, before shoving him out of the store.

The court heard that a woman who was previously in the shop with her child called her father, as she noticed something was happening, and the father then went to confront Battle, who was walking away.

Battle, 21, from Cheapside East, Rayleigh, told the man he “knew what he had done” and then waited on a wall while the police were called.

He admitted attempted robbery and possessing a knife in a public place.

Mitigating, Chris Whitcombe said Battle had become addicted to drugs and suffered with his mental health, but had “complete shame and embarrassment” for his actions.

Judge Samantha Cohen praised the shopkeeper, and told Battle: “His victim impact statement, where he was a little bit anxious, shows he is a man of considerable robustness.

“You took cocaine and alcohol in such quantities that you made your mental health difficulties worse.” Battle received a two year suspended prison term, 30 days rehabilitation and 200 hours unpaid work.

Battle has been ordered to pay £500 compensation to his victim.