Taylor Finlayson, 20, was apprehended by a hero local until police arrived
A doped-up robber terrified a shop worker as he pulled a knife in a frightening early hours robbery.
Taylor Finlayson claimed to have taken 20 zopiclone sleeping tablets before the raid on the McColl's shop in Guisborough .
A lone worker, 56, had opened the Westgate store at 5am and Finlayson went in not longer after, buying a packet of sweets.
He continued to case the shop from the street, staring at the woman working inside and going in and out of the shop.
When the shop worker was alone, Finlayson - wearing gloves and with a hood pulled over his head - returned with a knife, just before 6am on August 22.
Teesside Crown Court heard the 20-year-old demanded she open the till, before he used the knife to try and prise it open.
As the worker backed away, "paralysed with fear", have-a-go hero Tom Morgan grabbed the would-be robber from behind .
CCTV footage played to the court showed a struggle, with Finlayson dropping the knife before picking up another "sharp object" from a drawer behind the till.
But Mr Morgan didn't give up, screaming for someone to ring 999 and keeping hold of Finlayson for between 10 and 20 minutes until police arrived, prosecutor Harry Hadfield said.
Mr Hadfield continued: "The victim collapsed when police arrived, from the stress.
"A number of members of the public were distressed to witness the scene, including a 13-year-old boy. Police found a mask in the defendant's pocket.
"The shop worker, in a statement, said she has been left feeling vulnerable, anxious and frightened, suffering constant flashbacks.
"She doesn't know what would have happened had Mr Morgan not come in. She thought she would die and never see her grandchildren again."
Finlayson told police he was £500 in debt, and could only remember going into the shop for the first time - but due to the pills he'd taken, had no memory of the attempted robbery.
Mitigating, James Bourne-Arton said that despite Finlayson "picking his moment" to try and rob the convenience store, there was not a great degree of planning.
"The victim was as vulnerable as any other shop worker might be," he continued. "She had not been targeted because of her particular vulnerability."
And Mr Bourne-Arton said Finlayson was "heavily using drugs" at the time the offence was committed.
Finlayson, of Warwick Road, Guisborough had 13 previous convictions for 22 offences, the court heard
He admitted attempted robbery and possessing a knife.
Judge Howard Crowson jailed Finlayson for four years and six months.