A ROBBER brandished a knife and demanded cash from a lone betting shop worker.

Necat Karasahin raided the Betfred in Park Road, Coldean, where Caroline Dunk was working alone.

Covering his face with a scarf, the 28-year-old demanded she hand over cash and waved the kitchen knife at her.

He shouted: “Open the f****** safe.”

Ms Dunk described how he became impatient, and claimed he needed money for a friend’s medical bill in Mexico.

“I really thought he was going to attack me,” she said.

But Karasahin was instead in-hock to drug dealers who had told him he needed to pay his debts.

Ms Dunk was praised for staying calm, and managed to prevent Karasahin getting access to the safe.

Police arrived after she raised the alarm, and wrestled Karasahin to the ground.

At Hove Crown Court, Karasahin was jailed for five years after admitting robbery and possession of a knife.

Daniel Sawyer, prosecuting, said the incident happened in November last year.

Video footage showed Karasahin attempting to vault over the counter in the shop, causing Ms Dunk to scream.

Mr Sawyer said Karasahin had his hood up with a scarf to cover his face, and was wearing latex gloves.

At one stage, desperate Karasahin asked her how much money she had in her own purse after she had emptied the tills.

Mr Sawyer said Karasahin had a suspended sentence for carrying a knife in public in 2015.

Andrew Stephens, defending, said Karasahin wanted to apologise to Ms Dunk.

He has struggled with his mental health, Aspergers, and a heart condition, and had trouble getting the right medication.

In the end Karasahin, of Montague Street, Brighton, started to self-medicate with pills without a prescription, and became addicted to other drugs.

Mr Stephens said his client had told Ms Dunk he had no intention of hurting her.

He said Karasahin had proved to be a “hapless” robber. In prison he wants to make the most of chances to rebuild his life and improve his education.

Judge Paul Tain said that it was lucky that Ms Dunk had stayed calm.

“It must have been a fearful occasion,” the judge said.

He said when victims don’t stay calm, it raises the risk of knife-wielding robbers inflicting even greater harm.

Judge Tain added: “It was a determined attempt. The fact that it was not an effective robbery is not mitigation.

“That knife could have been used, even inadvertently, and caused serious harm.”