A THUG who used an axe to threaten supermarket security guards who challenged him for stealing sandwiches has been jailed for 20 months.

David Boles entered B&Q, in Lightship Way, Colchester, taking the axe, which was worth £30, from the shelves.

The 52-year-old then hopped on his bicycle and made his way to the nearby Tesco store, in Greenstead Road.

He went inside and helped himself to two sandwiches and a chocolate bar before heading out to the car park to make his getaway.

At Ipswich Crown Court yesterday, Simon Gladwell, prosecuting, said: “He was challenged in the car park and he raised the axe at the security guards and swung it around saying he was going to hit them’.”

The axe was sheathed at the time of the incident, but Mr Gladwell told the court the security guards were left “extremely fearful and panicked” afterwards.

Two weeks earlier, Boles, of no fixed address, had taken a Nintendo Switch, which had been burgled from a property in Colchester, into Cash Converters and sold it for £100.

He was arrested when Essex Police tracked the games console to the pawn shop.

Boles was charged with handling stolen goods, fraud by false representation, threatening a person with a bladed article and two counts of theft from a shop. He admitted the charges during an appearance at Colchester Magistrates’ Court last month.

Boles has a huge wrap list of 42 convictions for 105 offences, including two previous incidents involving knives.

Frank O’Toole, mitigating, said: “He has a history of substance abuse and the impact this has had is huge.

“All I can say on his behalf is I ask you to be as lenient as possible.”

Judge Emma Peters sentenced Boles to 16 months in prison for the knife-related offence and four months for handling stolen goods. The sentences will run consecutively.

She said: “You have gone through your life committing offence after offence as you are yourself a victim of the horrors of drugs.

“It is a great shame you have got to the stage where you are bouncing in and out of prison.”