Robber David Lemonius terrified a shop worker after he pushed her chest when he snatched cigarettes and a bottle of vodka from her hands.
The 55-year-old was using drugs when he committed two thefts from McColls in Trentham on April 4 and 10 last year.
And three days later he went a stage further and raided the same store.
Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard the victim was left shaken by her ordeal.
Now Lemonius – who has since kicked his drug habit – has been sentenced to two years in prison, suspended for two years.
Prosecutor John O’Higgins said the defendant struck at McColls for a third time on April 13, 2020.
Mr O’Higgins said: “The defendant entered the store wearing a black woolly hat, a scarf and his coat zipped up.
“He went to the till and asked for 100 Benson and Hedges cigarettes. When they were not handed over he snatched at them. He connected with the employee, grabbed the cigarettes and left.”
The shop worker said: “As I turned around with the bottle of vodka in my left hand the man grabbed cigarettes out of my hand but I managed to pull free keeping hold of the cigarettes. He grabbed the cigarettes and the bottle of vodka and he connected with my left breast.
“I was shaken. I was struggling to dial the phone. I was upset and shocked. My chest was sore from where he pushed into me.”
The court heard that during the two earlier thefts he stole cigarettes from behind the till area on April 4 and cigarettes and alcohol on April 10.
Lemonius, of Waterside Drive, Newstead, pleaded guilty to robbery and two charges of theft.
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Barry White, mitigating, said: “He is now in a much better and calmer place. He has managed, since these offences, not to commit any further offences. He has managed to come off drugs and sort himself out. He has not committed any further offences since.”
As part of the suspended sentence Lemonius must complete a rehabilitation activity requirement for 20 days.
Recorder Julian Taylor said: “You committed this robbery at the shop, albeit not the most serious, but very upsetting for those involved.
“You have an appalling record. A lot stems from your use of drugs. But I am very encouraged you have managed to stop taking drugs. I hope you will continue to do that. If you are found to be taking drugs you will end up in trouble.”