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17 February 2012, 10:53 | Updated: 17 February 2012, 11:17
Three men who were planning an armed raid of a St Neots store have been jailed for a total of more than 14 years.
Liam Darrington, 19 and Elnan Noval, 20, recruited Benjamin Hall, 20, who worked at the One Stop shop in Berkley Street, Eynesbury, and plotted to rob the store at gunpoint.
However, despite repeated attempts, the gang never carried out the planned hold-up.
Two men with a holdall and a gun were caught on CCTV loitering outside the shop on July 28th. The men tried again the following day before making a third attempt to carry out the raid on August 4th, two masked men were caught on that occasion.
When the men returned on the morning of August 9th, they were spotted by a concerned member of the public who called police.
Officers headed to the scene and stopped their car. They found a robbery ‘kit', including balaclavas, paintball guns, an imitation firearm and a knife. Hall and Noval were arrested, but Darrington managed to run off. He was arrested two days later.
Darrington, of The Broad Walk, Eynesbury, and Hall, of Whitehall Walk, St Neots, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery and possession of an imitation firearm.
Darrington also admitted escaping from lawful custody.
Noval, of Andrew Road, Eynesbury, admitted conspiracy but denied the firearms charge, however was convicted following a trial.
Noval was jailed for five-and-a-half years, Hall was locked up for four years and eight months and Darrington was sentenced to four years.