A “MENACING” thug who robbed a Southampton shop while drunk has been jailed.

“No man alive will stop me taking beer today”, claimed Gordon Early.

The 32-year-old was “hammered” shortly after opening time at One Stop in Kendal Avenue, Millbrook on July 5 this year.

“Unsteady on his feet”, Early of Pennine Road, Southampton asked a customer to buy him alcohol but was refused, a court heard.

Daily Echo:

He became abusive and at one point pushed a member of staff.

Early then climbed over the counter towards a female shop worker.

Despite a plastic counter screen blocking his way he managed to clamber over and “pick up cigarettes”.

Early is said to have stumbled outside with cigarettes “falling all over the place”.

Instead of fleeing the scene the father of two remained in the area.

Daily Echo:

When he was arrested he assaulted one of the officers - he gave a no comment police interview.

Early appeared before Southampton Crown Court on Tuesday facing a charge of robbery and assaulting an emergency worker to which he pleaded guilty.

An impact statement from one of the staff members read out during the hearing said how Early was totally out of control.

The male victim added: “I do not come to work to be abused, threatened or assaulted. His behaviour was menacing.”

Daily Echo:

Prosecution barrister, Nicholas Hall said how Early has 21 previous convictions involving 43 offences - which include harassment and assaults.

Defending, Mark Florida-James said the robbery was unsophisticated and his client was “completely hammered”.

He added how Early has had issues over the years with Class A drugs and had been impacted by his father’s diagnosis with a terminal illness.

Judge Christopher Henry jailed him for 22 months. This included time for twice breaching a restraining order against his ex-wife on September 13 and 20 last year which Early admitted to.