A Northampton robber who held his victims at knifepoint then apologised as he ran off with their belongings has been jailed.
Luke Bosworth threatened two men with a knife in the course of a month over April and May to demand cash from them.
But Northampton Crown Court heard yesterday (July 3) how the 30-year-old told both his victims he owed "dangerous men" money and apologised for the attacks - even as he pointed his weapon at them.
He even shook the hand of one of his victims before he ran off with their iPhone, and told another he thought he "seemed like a gentle man".
Bosworth's first victim was a Northampton taxi driver, who picked the 30-year-old late at night on April 20 to take him to Far Cotton.
But the taxi driver was soon told to divert before he found his passenger holding a knife to his throat.
Prosecutor James Gow told the court: "[Bosworth] told the driver 'give me all your money now.
"The driver produced in total about £70... Then the defendant told him he was in debt to dangerous men and if he didn't pay them they would kill him.
"Just before he left, he said 'I'm sorry for doing this, you're a very gentle man."
The court heard how, out of sheer kindness, the taxi driver offered to wait for Bosworth while he ran to pay off the debt - but the 30-year-old walked away.
Then, on the evening of May 9, a man was walking through Standside, St James, after leaving the Sevens pub when Bosworth approached him wearing a black hoody, pulled out a Swiss Army knife and demanded his money.
The victim sprinted off for some 150 metres before Bosworth caught up to him - where he put an arresting arm around him and said "That was a stupid idea, mate."
Yet Bosworth and his victim ended up talking for up to half an hour. The victim used mobile banking to show his robber he had no money to give, and even called relatives to ask for cash. Bosworth eventually took the man's phone after ordering him to erase all its data. All the while, Bosworth held the knife about a foot away from the victim.
Mr Gow said: "[Bosworth] told his victim he had to get to Dallington Park with money or he was 'a dead man'.
"Before he left, the victim shook Bosworth's hands and said 'I wish this could have gone differently'.
"'I do too,' replied Bosworth. 'You seem like a nice guy.' Then he ran off."
The 30-year-old was arrested on May 14 and later pleaded guilty to both robberies.
However, victim impact statements from both victims revealed how they had both suffered stress since their ordeals, and distrusted young men in hoods.
In sentencing, Her Honour Judge Rebecca Crane said she saw 'genuine remorse' in Bosworth and said she hoped he used his time in prison to reform.
Bosworth was sentenced to six years and nine months in jail.
Additionally, a victim impact statement by the taxi driver in the case said he hoped his robber could be 'helped' in prison and find something positive in his conviction.