A judge has called for more protection for shopkeepers after he handed down custodial sentences to two machete-wielding robbers.

On June 5 Dail Sear-Trevor and Martyn Swarbrick burst into Stuart’s newsagents in Lakenham, Norwich and threatened staff and customers with a machete, demanding that they hand over money.

No-one was hurt and the two men escaped with the till and its contents which amounted to £350 in cash. It was the second time in four months that the newsagents had been robbed.

Sear-Trevor and Swarbrick were apprehended by Norfolk Constabulary a couple of hours after the incident still in possession of some of the money and pleaded guilty immediately. They were sentenced to 39 and 33 months respectively in prison.

Judge Philip Curl, presiding over the case, said that small shops are particularly vulnerable to this type of crime. “It is no excuse that you were both short of money,” he said. “It was a robbery of a small corner shop and those who run this sort of shop generally work all hours. They are usually on their own and are very vulnerable to robberies of this sort.”