A ROBBER exploded into violence in the dock as a jury convicted him of trying to rob a shopkeeper at knifepoint.

Luke Aaron Russell, 23, fought so hard in the secure dock of York Crown Court, it took six dock officers several minutes to control him and take him down the steps of the secure dock at York Crown Court.

He was screaming at two women in the public gallery, who were crying.

The officers took Russell straight from the dock to a special prison van which they had arranged to have waiting for him outside and removed him to Hull Prison before the jury were brought back into court.

Recorder Tim Roberts QC told the jurors he agreed "wholeheartedly" with their "correct, right" verdict, and detailed the measures he and court staff had put in place for their safety. They were escorted out of the building by a private entrance.

"You can hold your heads high when you leave this courtroom," he told them. "You have assisted very bravely in the administration of justice."

Russell, 23, will be sentenced at a date to be arranged by video link to prison for attempted robbery of the Premier shop on Kingsland Terrace, off Leeman Road, York, on February 5.

Shopkeeper Tamer Hamanda, below, used a lottery stand to thwwart him.

York Press:

He has previous convictions for robbery and carrying a knife in public.

Unknown to the jury, he had caused problems to the court cell staff during his four-day trial and had self-harmed himself both before and during the trial.

The judge praised the cell and dock staff for the way they had handled Russell.

He had the trial transferred from Courtroom Two, which does not have a secure dock, to Courtroom One, which does, for the verdict to be taken.

In 2010, Russell leapt from the dock at York Youth Court and escaped when he was 17 and charged with mugging a man at knifepoint in the street.

During his trial, extra dock officers sat near the courtroom doors as well as by him in the dock to ensure he did not escape again.

As the jurors filed back into court to give their unanimous verdict, officers stood either side of Russell and others waited below on the cell stairs.

The jury did not know about his earlier escape, nor that he had been charged with another knifepoint convenience store robbery in 2014, but was acquitted.

His barrister Mark McKone said although Russell was a very volatile person, he could also be a very "fragile" person and that a psychiatrist may be asked to report on his mental health.