AN ARMED robber once offered schoolboy terms with Hull KR blew his chances of a Super League career after terrorizing vulnerable shop assistants in East Yorkshire.
Cameron James Nicholls, 18, formerly of Lansdowne Road, Bridlington, was on bail for a mindless street attack in Bridlington during a crime spree which culminated in three armed robberies.
He was jailed for five years at Hull Crown Court on Monday after threatening shop staff in South Cave, North Cave and North Ferriby with a baseball bat, a knife and a screwdriver.
Brought up by his grandparents after his parents broke up, in the space of 12 months Nicholls stole and crashed his grandparents car, then left at their request to move to Bridlington where he dabbled in drugs and fell into bad company.
His robberies began at a newsagent’s in South Cave on October 1, when he stole £60 from Linda Bayram telling her: “I don’t want to hurt you just give me the money.”
Within 10 days he was in Bridlington town centre, laughing at a woman whose handbag had been lost, causing an argument between them.
A man who intervened was punched in the face and when police arrived he was charged and released on bail.
Barrister Steven Garth told the court: “He was taking money for food and alcohol. He proved to be an exceptional sportsman at school and was offered school boy terms with Hull KR.
“He went from what could have been a career in the super league to becoming homeless and penniless.”
Nicholls, it was said, went on to Little Chef at Beacon Services, on the A63 Eastbound on October 15, getting away with £140 after telling Samantha Petry in front of three young children “Open the till and give me the money.”
Two weeks later he robbed Andrew McKay at the Shell Garage, Grindale Filling Station, Melton Road, North Ferriby, while carrying a baseball.
He told the man: “Give us your money or I’ll smash your face in.” He got away with £90 on a stolen pedal cycle.
Nicholls, pleaded guilty to three offences of armed robbery, two thefts, one assault and three charges of possession of an offensive weapon.
Jailing Nicholls for five years, Judge John Dowse told him: “A year ago you could have presented yourself as a person of good character.
“Since then you have managed to achieve 15 previous convictions. Each of these three people who you demanded money from when you were brandishing weapons has been affected by your actions.
“It is tragic to see you in court facing so serious charges.
“You were offered an opportunity to join Hull KR and you wasted it. You have tried to join the Army and wasted it. It is tragic to see you in court on such serious charges. If you carry on the way you are you may get a life sentence.”