A drunk robber who targeted a lone Maryport van driver so he could go "joyriding" with his pal has been jailed.

Matthew Adam Taylor, 27, told a Cumbria Probation Service worker that he was so drunk when carried out the offence that he could recall little of what happened.

He admitted robbery and dangerous driving.

Prosecutor Charlotte Kenny said Taylor, 28, and his now deceased co-defendant committed the offence at 4.45am on Saturday, April 15 last year.

Victim Derek Graham was delivering newspapers in an area of Maryport known as The Arches when he was approached by two strangers, one of them being Taylor.

One of them asked him the time.

Shortly after this, Taylor and his friend forced their way into the van.

Mr Graham became increasingly concerned for his safety and frightened, said the prosecutor.

"The defendant started to shout aggressively at him," said Miss Kenny.

"He apparently held his fists up towards Mr Graham as if threatening to fight him. At this point, the defendant got back into the van and proceeded away from the area.

The Mercedes Sprinter van was later abandoned in Alne Road Maryport, after having been crashed into three other vehicles.

A Probation Service worker in court summarised her interview with the defendant, formerly of Trinity Drive, Northside, Workington.

She told the court: "He said that at the time, he was highly intoxicated and as such has little recollection of his offending behaviour, but he can recall the offending being unplanned.

"They saw the van and briefly discussed with his co-defendant taking the vehicle and then they did that impulsively, thinking little about the consequences of their behaviour.

"Their intention was to joyride."

She said Taylor regretted his actions.

Since it happened, he had lost his stable accommodation and was now sofa-surfing with friends.

His co-defendant, a close friend since childhood, had since died.

Passing sentence, Recorder John Corless told Taylor: "It's clear that you caused Mr Graham a great deal of anxiety, upset, and fear."

The victim was carrying out his normal duties at a time when he was vulnerable.

At the time, committing the robbery - the first on Taylor's record - meant he was in breach of a suspended sentence imposed for an earlier criminal offence, said the judge.

Recorder Corless imposed a total sentence of two years and four months.

He also imposed a 12 month driving ban on Taylor, who must sit an extended test before he can drive unaccompanied.