A BRAVE security guard who leapt over a shop counter to put himself between a machete-wielding robber a terrified colleague said he was “just doing his job”.

Nathan Minton, 20, jumped to the defence of his co-worker after a robber entered Tesco Express, in St Osyth Road, Clacton.

Balaclava-clad Donald Sampson, 46, walked into the store and approached the counter.

A shop assistant, Mr Thomas, was working alone behind the till.

Sampson, previously sentenced to seven years in prison for robbing a bookmakers, demanded cash.

Mr Minton was on a break at the time, but ran to the shop floor after the emergency buzzer was pressed.

He said: “If he rings the buzzer three times, that is to call me.

“So I ran down and heard a shout. One of my colleagues was behind the till and the till was open. This guy had jumped over the counter and was stood there with a sword.

"It looked like a Katana (a Japanese sword).

"He was wearing black and had a balaclava.

“My main priority was getting everyone out.

"There was a customer. I told them to get out and I believe they called the police.”

Between £200 and £250 was stolen before Mr Minton intervened.

The guard, who has worked at the store for nine months, added: “I got myself over the till and I could see this guy was panicking at this point.

“I got between him and my colleague and said ‘What do you want?’”

Mr Milton allowed his colleague to get to safety, but Sampson snatched around £200 of cigarettes before fleeing.

He said: “I had tried to slow him down a bit to allow the police to get there.

“You do worry, but someone has to do this job. 

“My manager said ‘You did really well, you were very brave, but don’t do it again.’

“Everyone was shaken up and I was lucky.”

Sampson, of Rosemary Road, Clacton, was later arrested and the weapon, identified as a machete, was discovered in a garden.

He admitted charges of robbery and possessing a blade.

The robber has a lengthy criminal history, receiving a three year sentence in 1996 for robbing a newsagents and seven years in 1999 for robbing a bookmakers.

He was convicted of possessing a weapon in 2007.

Peter Marshall, mitigating at Chelmsford Crown Court, said the thug had led a life “blighted by drug addiction”.

He said: “Since he has been before the adult courts he has spent somewhere in the region of 15 years behind bars.

"He wants to make clear he was not under the influence of Class A drugs when he committed these offences.

“There was blossoming stability - he was in employment and a stable relationship.”

Mr Marshall said Sampson was under the influence of a mix of prescription drugs and alcohol at the time of the robbery.

Judge Patricia Lynch QC jailed the robber for a total of six years.

She said: “This was terrifying.

“It would terrify any one of us.

“The weapon you had was a particularly fearsome weapon.”

She suggested Mr Minton receive a £500 reward for his heroics.

She said: “His actions were over and above that expected of a security guard in a shop, particularly when the weapon we’re dealing with was as quite so fearsome as a machete.

“Particularly when he put himself between the robber and the employee.

“It is the thing that every employee dreads and something which would certainly do far more than shake me up if I was in that situation.”