A TEENAGER tried to rob two men on a canal towpath with a baseball bat while his accomplice was armed with a knife.

Ethan Winter, aged 18, of East Roedin, Coed Eva, Cwmbran, was locked up for the terrifying night-time attempted armed raid near the town centre.

Jenny Yeo, prosecuting, said the defendant and his unnamed partner in crime had hidden near a tunnel before they launched their surprise attack.

She told Cardiff Crown Court how Winter struck one of their victims to the head with what was believed to be a baseball bat.

The two complainants were able to run away but were chased before managing to escape without suffering serious injuries and call the police.

The defendant and the other man were left empty-handed after the incident at around 7.30pm on February 4.

Winter had denied attempted robbery but was convicted by a jury following a trial.

Mrs Yeo said he had nine previous convictions for 25 offences, including common assault and burglary.

Jeffrey Jones, mitigating, said his client “maintains his denial” and added: “He is clearly not a lost cause.”

His barrister said the defendant was a working man who earned £250 a week in construction.

Mr Jones asked the court not to make the inevitable custodial sentence one that was “so crushing”.

Judge Michael Fitton QC told Winter: “You had some sort of baseball bat and your accomplice was armed with a knife which you used to threaten your victims.

“You struck one of them once to the head. It was a determined effort to rob them of their belongings.

“You used a weapon to inflict force and violence.”

As he sent him into custody, the judge said to Winter: “It is the turning point in your life.

“You will either learn from this hard and bitter experience or, at worst, you will become a worse offender. It is in your hands.”

The defendant was sent to a young offender institution for four years.

He must also pay a victim surcharge upon his release from custody.