A MAN accused of a knifepoint robbery bid on a convenience store owner has claimed he was with his girlfriend at the time.

Luke Aaron Russell, 23, told a jury he arrived at Lizzie Holt's house at 5pm on February 5, and stayed in her bedroom apart from a brief trip upstairs to have a shower in her bathroom, until police arrived at 8.30pm and arrested him.

The jury heard that a masked man man tried to hold up Tamer Hamanda in his Premier Express shop in Kingsland Terrace off Leeman Road at 8pm.

Russell denied going to the shop on February 5, threatening Mr Hamanda with a knife or carrying a knife. He also denied asking a friend for a lift to the Leeman Road area.

The jury at York Crown Court heard a masked man brandished a five-inch knife at Mr Hamanda, but the shopkeeper put up such resistance that the would-be robber fled empty-handed on the back of a motorcycle steered by a second man, which was owned by Jack Holt, Lizzie Holt's brother.

Russell, of Cromer Street, Clifton, denies attempted robbery. The jury is expected to consider its verdict today.

It heard Russell's DNA was on a jacket which police found being burnt in the Holts' garage and which was similar to one worn by the robber.

He told them he had worn it, though it didn't belong to him, when he wanted to go out of the house to have a cigarette. It was worn by various people because it had been left lying around.

He denied a prosecution suggestion that he had been short of money, saying he wanted for nothing.

At the time, he lived on benefits and did odd jobs.

York Crown Court heard Russell has three previous convictions for robbery and one for carrying a knife in public.

He told the jury two of his robberies were carried out when he was 15 on Chinese students when he was acting under the influence of two accomplices.

The third was carried out on his own when he was 17, had taken cocaine and alcohol and needed money for drugs. He alleged he had quit drugs since.