A WIGAN teenager has been caged for three years for his part in a violent but bungled armed raid on a convenience store.
Jamie Gibbons, 19, of Canberra Road, Marsh Green, admitted attempted robbery and other offences including cultivating cannabis.
He was one of two masked men wielding weapons who burst into the VG Store on Banksbarn, Skelmersdale, on April 1 this year. One of them used a socket wrench to attack a till when his demands for cash were not met while the accomplice pointed a knife at the cashier.
Both fled empty handed, but went on to be identified by police. CCTV footage of the crime was played at Preston Crown Court as the two young men appeared for sentencing.
Co-defendant Owen Myddelton from Westhoughton pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and having a bladed article. He received a two-year jail term.
He was forensically linked to the crime through his balaclava being recovered. Following his arrest, he spoke of having visited the other man involved – whom he refused to name to officers. He said he was only asked to be involved in the planned attempted robbery 20 minutes beforehand and went on to be handed a knife and a balaclava.
Gibbons immediately admitted his guilt when approached by police and officers found 20 cannabis plants in a rented Skelmersdale property, with sophisticated equipment in place. It was thought the plants might have produced a yield of up to £12,500.
Miss Zilah Williams, for Gibbons, said he expressed genuine remorse for what he did. She added: “He was quite frankly desperate for money at the time.
“He had recently lost his job and owed around £800 to his cannabis supplier.
“When the attempted robbery failed, the cultivation of cannabis occured. It was set up by others who insisted he should repay his debt and he acted as a gardener.”