A man who was the victim of an attempted robbery by a regular visitor to his store has said it was a “shock” but he feels sorry for the man involved.

Steven Ward was jailed for four years last week for a raft of crimes involving thefts from properties and cars.

The Oldham man also confessed to the attempted robbery of Jams Newsagents in Stockport.

He walked into the store near where he had been staying and smashed a branch onto the counter and demanded money.

Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court heard other customers had to flee and he threatened to brandish a knife.

The man behind the counter, Faisal Rafiq, who works at the family run store, tried to reason with him as he knew him.

But Ward left the area and caused a police siege as he threatened to jump from a window and uttered racist remarks at a police officer.

Mr Rafiq responded to the news the 23-year-old had been jailed.

He said: “We were scared.

“We did not expect it from him, it was shocking.

“We were very good to him and his family, so we did not expect it from him, it was a real shock.”

“I tried talking to him but he wasn’t understanding.”

He added that the shop had taken extra security measures since the incident, saying: “We have put in some more cameras.”

When making representations on behalf of Ward, defence counsel Steven Sullivan stressed that he could have made off with money if he had wanted to and had been uttering self loathing remarks during the incident.

The offence took place in September last year.

The other crimes Ward was jailed for by judge Mark Savill had taken place in February 2018 when he targeted cars and properties making off with hundreds of pounds of items in Oldham.