Calling Tyrec Christopher Johnson a danger to the community, Justice Roger Chapple on Thursday sentenced the young man to seven years in prison for an attempted armed robbery and a stabbing in a separate instance.

Johnson, 18, was arrested last year for attempting to rob Captain’s Bakery and Grill on 10 July. He was armed with a 9mm pistol, although, the judge noted, it was not loaded. When the employee he demanded money from did not comply, Johnson struck him across the face with the gun, knocking him to the floor.

Chapple told Johnson the employee had no way of knowing the gun being pointed in his face was not loaded.

“Can you imagine the abject terror?” Chapple said. “And then you hit him.”

Just a week earlier, Johnson had been involved in an altercation in a parking lot outside Cayman Airways headquarters and stabbed a 16‑year-old in the leg. “Your victim couldn’t walk without crutches for a month,” Chapple said in court.

In considering his sentence, the judge said he looked at Johnson’s background, noting that he had a difficult childhood.

“I’ve read about you and what you’ve had to deal with in your upbringing,” he said, characterising parts of it as traumatic. “Some of those things no one should have to deal with.”

However, Chapple said, he believed the risk of repeated offences by Johnson was “very high”. The crimes in question, he said, “are far too serious to be dealt with in any other way than a sentence in prison.”

Johnson was sentenced to seven years for illegal firearm possession, five years for the attempted robbery and 12 months for the stabbing attack. The sentences are to run concurrently, and Johnson was given credit for the year he has been in custody.