A man has been jailed for life for holding up a supermarket with a machete while wearing a witch Halloween costume.

Nicholas Overton, 39, wore a long black robe, blonde wig and pointed hat as a disguise when he walked into a Co-op store in Newport, south Wales.

Cardiff Crown Court heard the serial robber drove from London on 7 July and pulled out a machete in the shop from a black handbag he carried as part of his disguise.

Overton of Lewisham, London, pleaded guilty to robbery, having an offensive weapon, dangerous driving and failing to provide a specimen for analysis.

The court heard Overton's lengthy criminal record shows convictions for more than 20 robberies.

The Newport robbery was captured on CCTV footage, and shows the moment black-clad Overton loiters near the tills before dramatically pulling out the two foot blade.

Julian Greenwood, prosecuting, said: "At that moment panic set in and the two ladies behind the till disappeared and fled with customers, including two small boys, out into the street."

The CCTV footage shows Overton confronting the shop's team leader before he forced him towards the tills.

Cardiff Crown court heard Overton filled carrier bags with money before fleeing the Co-op in his witch's outfit.

Police chase

Two brothers in the shop chased after the robber and managed to record his Vauxhall Vectra registration plate.

The defendant was spotted by police doing 70mph in a 30mph zone and a stinger was used to burst the car's tyres.

Overton was found hiding in the corner of a garden in Caerleon, near Newport.

Victim impact statements read out in court, staff said they were "shocked and scared", with one saying she "felt it was a terrorist attack".

Hilary Roberts, defending, said his client had an addiction to class A drugs, which had been "the scourge" of his life.

Sentencing Judge Jeremy Jenkins said he was in no doubt Overton was a "dangerous offender" who posed a significant risk of harm

He was given a life sentence with a minimum of four years, and after his release he will remain on licence for the rest of his life.