Benjamin Barton, 18, from Bideford was sentenced at Exeter Crown Court today (Friday).View previously unreleased photos of evidence left at the scene of the crime, as well as CCTV footage of the robbery, here.

An 18-year-old Bideford man who tried to rob a jewellery store in Barnstaple has been sentenced to three years and eight months in prison.

Benjamin Barton, of Clovelly Road, will serve his time at a youth offenders institution for the attempted armed robbery of Coopers Jewellery in Barnstaple on May 28.

He was also sentenced to two years to run concurrently for firearm offences.

Last month the Gazette revealed how police detectives caught Barton thanks to DNA and a suspicious purchase of a bag for life and some ham.

Barton's DNA was found on the bag for life and gun cartridge he left at the scene after entering the store wearing a latex head mask as a disguise.

He dropped the items and fled down Barnstaple High Street when jewellery store owner David Bruce defended his store with a baseball bat.

He came forward after a CCTV image was released from the moment when he purchased the bag.

Detective Simon Butler 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, added: "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."

Scroll through the gallery above for images from the scene of the attempted armed robbery.

To read the full story about how detectives caught Barton, click here.