An 18-year-old has been sentenced to 3 years and 8 months at a youth offenders institution for an attempted armed robbery in Barnstaple.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nBenjamin Barton pleaded guilty at Exeter Crown Court to the attempted armed robbery and possession and an imitation firearm at Coopers Jewellery in Barnstaple Thursday, May 28.\r\n\r\nBarton wore a latex mask and armed himself with a blank firing gun, the robbery was unsuccessful after the store\u2019s owner, David Bruce, chased the armed robber off with a baseball bat and the police were called in.\r\n\r\nDuring the attempted robbery nothing was stolen from the shop and no employees were injured.\r\n\r\nA dog unit and armed officers undertook a search of the area immediately after the incident, which happened at 3:30pm, but the suspect was not located.\r\n\r\nDetectives then 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 presented himself to police and was subsequently arrested.\r\n\r\nThe carrier bag shown with Baronin the CCTV image was recovered from the scene. According to reports, Barton blamed the pressure of his A-level exams for the attempted robbery.\r\n\r\nDetective Simon Butler, deputy SIO, said: \u201cI welcome the sentence imposed today, for what was a very traumatic experience for the victim, who bravely confronted the offender.\r\n\r\n\u201cI hope today\u2019s 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.\u201d\r\n\r\nSpeaking to the BBC after the incident, Bruce, who hit Barton multiple times with a baseball bat before chasing him out of the store, said \u201cI come from a school of hard knocks. I wasn\u2019t scared,\u201d adding that the robber had \u201cpicked the wrong guy\u201d.