TWO women stumbled upon a gang of three balaclava-clad men armed with a knife attempting to rob a home in Chester, a court heard.
Ryan Jones, 21, and two unidentified men were in the back garden of the property in Hillside Road, Blacon, when the women went to post a letter through the front door.
Chester Crown Court heard yesterday that the women noticed someone in the back garden and went to see if it was the occupant of the ground floor flat.
But instead the women saw the three men who told them: “Go away love. We are going to rob him”.
Sarah Badrawy, prosecuting, said the women left and immediately went to Blacon Police Station to report what they had seen.
Police officers arrived and saw the three men, one with a knife, banging on the front door about 6.30pm on June 13.
The three men ran off and two clambered over a fence to escape.
But Jones, of Auckland Road, Blacon, could not climb the fence and was arrested following a foot chase.
He was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty to attempted robbery and carrying a knife.
Miss Badrawy said the other two men who were with Jones had never been caught.
Judge Elgan Edwards, the Recorder of Chester, told Jones: “I think it is rather serious that people think they can get away with knife crime in this city at half past six in the evening.”
Judge Edwards also praised the action of the two women who stumbled upon the attempted robbery.
He said: “The two ladies who informed the police behaved very properly. I do not want to name them so they are not embarrassed but they did well and the police responded quickly as well.”
Patrick Thompson, defending, said Jones had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and said the robbery had not actually taken place.
He said: “The real punishment to him is that he has let his family down very badly. To get himself involved in this idiotic endeavour is very stupid.
“The robbery did not take place and that is good fortune and thanks to those two ladies but it should taken into account.
“He has never committed robbery before. There was no use or threat of force because there was no actual robbery.”
Jones had a number of previous convictions including one for possessing an offensive weapon in 2009 and four previous burglary convictions.”
Judge Edwards told him: “I am going to keep the sentence to a minimum because you have had the good sense to plead guilty.”