Barnstaple: Would-Be Jewellery Robber Jailed

21 August 2015, 13:19 | Updated: 21 August 2015, 13:27

An 18 year old man has been given 3 years and 8 months in prison - for trying to rob a jeweller's in Barnstaple.

Benjamin Barton, of Clovelly Road, Bideford, pleaded guilty to the attempted armed robbery and possession of an imitation firearm at Coopers Jewellery in Barnstaple on Thursday 28 May.

He disguised himself with a latex mask. 

The owner of the shop chased him away - and the police were called in. 

A dog unit and armed officers undertook a search of the area immediately after the incident, which happened at around 3.30pm, but they were unable to find him.

Then, detectives issued a CCTV image of a man, holding a distinctive carrier bag, who they wanted to speak to in connection with the incident. As a result of the public appeal Barton turned himself in to police and was arrested.

The carrier bag shown with Barton in the CCTV image was recovered from the scene.

During the attempted robbery nothing was stolen from the shop and no employees were injured.

Detective Simon Butler, Deputy SIO, said: “I welcome the sentence imposed today, for what was a very traumatic experience for the victim, who bravely confronted the offender. I hope today’s hearing will in some way bring closure to the victim and his family. The incident was also very frightening for witnesses who saw the offender running through the streets of Barnstaple armed with a firearm.”

Detective Inspector Praveen Naidoo, Senior Investigating Officer (SIO) based in Barnstaple, said: “We are fortunate to live in a safe part of the country and crimes of this nature are an infrequent occurrence.

“When they do occur, we are prepared and will bring into play the necessary investigative resources to maximise any opportunity of a successful prosecution.

“This was a really good piece of investigation from the team. It is a result that would also have taken longer to achieve had it not been for the positive support we got from local media which ultimately enabled us to identify the offender leading to this conviction.”