A BRAVE shopkeeper fought off a knife-wielding robber - by whacking him over the head with a badminton racquet.
Plucky Shazhad Butt thumped dopey robber Brian Lamb with the sports bat after the masked knifeman burst into his shop demanding cash.
Lamb pulled a blade from his jacket and threatened the stunned shop owner during a bungled early-morning heist at a small newsagents in Dalkeith, Midlothian, last year.
Lamb shouted for Mr Butt to open the till and hand over the notes but failed to count on the hero shopkeeper refusing to give up his takings.
Instead the businessman grabbed the badminton racquet from under his counter and bashed the robber over the head before forcing him to flee the corner store empty handed.
Lamb, who lives just yards from his local shop in Gibraltar Terrace in Dalkeith, denied he was the masked robber behind the attempted theft and stood trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last month.
But a jury did not believe his lies and found him guilty of attempting to rob Mr Butt and presenting a blade to him at the USave convenience store on June 21 last year.
And during the trial the court heard Lamb had broken a 7pm to 7am curfew imposed for a previous offence by leaving his home to carry out the attack at around 6.30am.
Lamb was also found guilty of telling police officers he would slash Mr Butt’s throat when he was released from custody.
The 37-year-old was also convicted by the jury of breaking the court-imposed curfew by leaving his home before 7am in his bid to rob the shop.
Sheriff Alistair Noble jailed Lamb for a total of 33 months when he appeared for sentencing at the capital court yesterday.
The sheriff also told Lamb he would be supervised for 12 months following his release from prison.
Sheriff Noble said: “I don’t think there is any alternative to imposing an custodial sentence in this case due to the gravity of the offence of attempted robbery.
“You do have an extensive record which includes a previous conviction for assault and robbery.
“You ran into the shop, leant over the counter and presented a knife to the shopkeeper who used a badminton racquet and you then ran out of the shop.
“This was a serious and concerning matter for the shopkeeper.
“This is a case where a supervised release order should be made as your have a number of convictions of violence and it is necessary to make such an order to protect the public from serious harm from you on your release.”