1. ITV Report

Robber dressed as 'pantomime witch' jailed for life

A man who robbed a shop dressed as a 'pantomime witch' with a machete has been jailed for life.

Nicholas Overton wore a blonde wig, long black dress and hat when he walked into a Co-op store with a machete in his handbag.

The shocking CCTV footage shows the moment Overton pulls out the two foot blade and launches towards the shop counter in his floor-length black dress and pointed hat.

Overton, of Lewisham, London, can then be seen filling carrier bags with money before fleeing the Co-op in Cromwell Road, Newport.

Julian Greenwood, prosecuting, said:

At that moment panic set in and the two ladies behind the till disappeared and fled with customers including two small boys out into the street.

– Prosecuting, Julian Greenwood

Mr Greenwood added that Overton looked like "a witch out of a pantomime."

The 39-year-old fancy dress robber was given a life sentence with a minimum of four years at Cardiff Crown Court. After his release he will remain on licence for the rest of his life.

Two brothers who had been in the queue on July 7 chased the robber and managed to record his Vauxhall Vectra registration plate.

It was reported to police and in the early hours of the next day police stopped Overton while he was driving at 70mph in a 30mph zone, in Caerleon near Newport.

Nicholas Overton Credit: Gwent Police

He pleaded guilty to robbery, having an offensive weapon, dangerous driving and failing to provide a specimen.

Overton's criminal record shows sentences for more than 20 robberies.

Hilary Roberts, defending, said he had an addiction to class A drugs, which had been "the scourge" of his life.

Judge Jeremy Jenkins, sentencing, said he was in no doubt Overton was a "dangerous offender" who posed a significant risk of harm.