A man who went on a rampage through Peterborough city centre has been jailed.

George Smith, 28, was arrested in St Peters Road, behind the Town Hall, on December 29 last year after police received reports of a robbery at a fruit and veg stall.

As police were on their way, further calls came in reporting the same suspect had assaulted a woman and stolen items from a café.

Smith approached the market stall in Long Causeway and grabbed a knife from a table before picking up the till and running away with it, damaging it and a gazebo in the process.

He returned with the till, having not taken anything from it, and dropped the knife before heading into Café Nero.

Smith picked up a knife from a table outside the café before entering and threatening a member of the public with it, then made off with four bottles of drink from a fridge.

On leaving the store, he threw a glass at a woman’s chest, causing it to shatter, before he made his way to the back of the Town Hall where he was seen to try to get into numerous cars.

Smith, of no fixed address, got into the back of a Vauxhall Astra which two women were sat in.

Fearing for their safety, the women got out of the car and members of the public intervened in an attempt to get Smith out of the car.

However, he managed to get into the driver’s seat but was blocked from driving off by members of the public who stood in front of the car until police arrived.

He was arrested and later charged with assault, interfering with a motor vehicle, criminal damage, theft from a shop and possession of a knife in a public place.

He was also charged with two counts of racially aggravated assault relating to incidents where he shouted racial abuse and spat at a Queensgate security guard on two separate occasions last year.

Smith appeared at Cambridge Crown Court today (Tuesday) where he was sentenced to 20 weeks in prison after previously admitting all offences.

PC Sam Pickworth, who investigated, said: “This was a really frightening ordeal for those involved on December 29, with many people fearing for their safety.

“Smith is a highly unpredictable individual and the actions of the members of public who intervened prevented things from escalating any further, so I would like to express my thanks to them.”