A MAN carried out a spree of terrifying knifepoint robberies just weeks after being released from prison.

Jamie Dyas, 32, targeted an Asda Express petrol station, the Pantry shop and a Premier store in Cwmbran over a two-day period between March 6 and March 7.

The defendant was freed from jail in February after being remanded in custody for stealing a 68-year-old woman’s £850 disability allowance from her handbag and assaulting a Tesco Express worker.

For those offences, he was handed a suspended prison sentence after a judge thought that Dyas, who had 32 previous convictions for 82 offences, was “capable of being rehabilitated”.

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Cardiff Crown Court was told that the defendant didn’t attend any probation appointments to carry out his community obligations after his release and disappeared from their radar until the robberies in March.

William Bebb, prosecuting, played CCTV footage capturing all three robberies.

Dyas threatened to kill a shopkeeper at Asda Express after he jumped over the counter as stole cash from the till.

At the Pantry the owner there stood up to him as did a member of the public who was pushed to the floor.

The defendant stole bottles of Gordon’s pink gin and Cactus Jack’s alcohol worth £24.

At the Premier store in Thornhill, Dyas stole £200 from the till.

A witness said: “He stuffed the notes into his pocket and left. The shopkeeper looked extremely distressed.”

The police were called and the defendant was arrested after being Tasered. 

Dyas, of no fixed abode, Newport pleaded guilty to three counts of robbery, three counts of possession of a knife in public and one count of assault by beating.

He also admitted being in breach of his suspended sentence.

His previous convictions included two for robbery and one for wounding.

Alice Sykes representing Dyas said: “The defendant makes no excuses for his behaviour and he has expressed remorse to me in our conference this morning.

“His life has been blighted by drug abuse.”

His barrister added that her client had been affected by the death of his brother in 2020.

Judge Jeremy Jenkins jailed Dyas for 12 years.

He told him: “You have an appalling record of previous convictions.

“An extended sentence is necessary to protect members of the public from serious harm occasioned by you.”

Dyas will have to serve two-thirds of a nine-year prison sentence before his case goes before the Parole Board.

Once he is released, he will be on licence for an extended period of three years.