THIS is the moment a would be robber wielding a lump of wood burst into Cashino Gaming, Hereford.

Seconds later brave staff tried to bundle him out, with one of the women struck as they did so.

At Worcester Crown Court, Jay Hamilton-Smith, 38, of no fixed address, admitted attempting to rob Cashino, in Eign Gate, Hereford, in May.

He also admitted robbing a Spar store in Newport two days before trying to rob Cashino, and two charges of possessing a weapon.

He will be sentenced in August.

Hamilton-Smith escaped with £200 from the Newport store till after threatening staff with a hammer.

Wanted in Newport, he took a train to Hereford and wandered the city over a Bank Holiday Monday to strike at Cashino just before it shut, waving the wood lump and threatening the women for money.

His robbery foiled, Hamilton-Smith fled through Victoria Street underpass, dumped his makeshift weapon in undergrowth and hid behind Sainsbury’s in Barton Road where he was found by police within an hour. He told officers he had carried out the offences to fund his drug addiction.

Abigail Nixon, defending, said he had been seen by a psychiatric nurse following his arrest and diagnosed with post-traumatic stress and a personality disorder. The nurse had recommended a further report. Sentence was adjourned until August 5.

Det Sgt Tim Powell said afterwards the robbery attempt was “particularly traumatic” for Cashino staff.

  •  Cashino was also robbed in April. A man has been charged with robbery and possessing an imitation firearm.