An armed robber who raided a new burger bar bus in a lay by and attacked two women has been given a 12 year jail sentence at a Worcester court.

William Vallance "ruined the dream" of the two women to run a café on the A49 between Leominster and Ludlow, Worcester Crown Court heard.

Isobel Murrat and April Josling were injured and so seriously traumatised by the raid on August 21 last year they gave up on their business plan, the court was told.

Lee Egan, prosecuting, said they were setting up their sandwich and burger bar business in an old bus with the help of their friend Nathan Greenhouse when Vallance arrived and engaged them in conversation at about 5.30pm. He was on licence from an eight-and-a-half year prison sentence for wounding and he said he wanted to invest with them.

Miss Josling left to go to Leominster to get supplies from a flat and while she was there, there was a knock at the door and someone announcing they were the police.

She opened the door and Vallance, accompanied by another man who has not been before the courts, burst in.

He put a knife to her throat, grabbed her by the hair and punched her in the face, asking for money. He took her car keys and left her with injuries including fractures to her nose, eye socket and cheekbone and damage to her lip and jaw which required medical treatment.

Thirty minutes later, Vallance, who still had the knife, and his accomplice, who was armed with an axe, returned to the lay-by, Mr Egan said.

They demanded money and punched Mr Greenhouse in the face. Miss Murrat was in a small caravan near the bus and Vallance grabbed her in a headlock and punched her repeatedly in the face. She was so frightened, she handed over £600 set aside for the business.

During the attack, Vallance injured his hand and though he tried to clear up the blood, there was enough of a trace for him to be indentified through DNA. He was arrested in Clive Road, Redditch, on September 16 and found to be in possession of a lock knife.

Vallance, aged 39, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery, one of assault causing actual bodily harm and one of having a bladed article in a public place.

In victim impact statements, Miss Josling said she had completely lost her confidence and has a permanent loss of feeling in part of her face. Miss Murrat said she had become "a shadow of her former self"

and they had been forced to give up on their business plans.

The court heard Vallance had a number of previous convictions for violence and dishonesty and was considered a significant risk of serious harm to the public.

Abigail Nixon, defending, said he had lost his accommodation and argued with his father at the time of the offence. He had a partner who was still supporting him and while in custody for the last year, he had earned positions of responsibility and showed signs of changing his ways.

Recorder Edward Pepperall, QC, said it was a "serious and chilling"

offence that had left the victims seriously traumatised. Miss Murrat, he said, had been "terrified and, no doubt, in fear for her life."

"These two women who were seeking to set up in trade have had their plans ruined," he told Vallance, who appeared by video link. "Neither of them will have the confidence to do it again. You have ruined the dream they had of running a successful business."

Vallance was jailed for a total of 12 years with an extension of four years, meaning he will have to serve eight years before he can apply to the parole board for release. Following his release, he will be subject to a further period of supervision.