A ROMANIAN robber stuck a serrated knife into a woman’s mouth in a demand she hand over her valuables.

Alin Balan, 26, struck in an alleyway off Shelley Street, near the Radnor Street Cemetery, on November 26 last year.

He held a knife to his female victim’s throat before sticking the blade in her mouth. He stole jewellery worth £50.

Appearing before Swindon Crown Court via video link from HMP Winchester, Balan, formerly of Radnor Street, pleaded guilty to robbery and possession of a knife.

Prosecuting, George Threlfall said: “I understand that this is a guilty plea on a full facts basis. The Crown says this was a knifepoint robbery during which the victim suffered a laceration to her palate following the defendant thrusting a knife into her mouth.

“I understand that that’s accepted and because of that I haven’t sought leave to amend the indictment to add a wounding with intent.”

Gareth James, defending, said his client was a man of previous good character with now convictions in either the UK or his native Romania. He has been in the UK for around nine months.

The barrister added: “Knifepoint robberies are always going to be regarded very seriously by the court and I anticipate before your honour passes sentence you may want to seek the assistance of the probation service.”

Judge Peter Crabtree ordered a pre-sentence report, telling Balan: “It goes to length [of sentence] only and given the circumstances of these offences whether Mr Balan is a person who triggers the dangerousness provisions.”

If he is ruled to be a dangerous offender, Balan could expect to serve longer behind bars and an extended period on licence.

He was remanded in custody to be sentenced on February 24.

Robbery is an indictable-only offence, meaning it can only be dealt with at the crown court.

According to the Sentencing Council guidelines, those convicted of a street robbery can expect as punishment anything ranging from a long community order to 12 years’ imprisonment.