A STUDENT attempted to rob a convenience store with a hammer because he was struggling to keep up with deadlines at college, a court heard.

Damien Walsh, 18, threatened a staff member and tried to take the till from the Westhoughton branch of Best One during the bungled robbery on November 13, 2019.

The teenager, who was 17 at the time of the offence, was quickly wrestled to the ground by staff, and restrained until police officers arrived to arrest him.

At Bolton Crown Court, Saul Brody, prosecuting, said Walsh entered the shop at around 7.40pm after being seen loitering nearby with two other youths.

Stopping to tighten his hood, Walsh produced a hammer and ran towards the counter where he threatened Kadeem Hussain.

He swung the hammer at Mr Hussain a number of times before going behind the counter where a struggle ended with Walsh, of Marsh Street, Westhoughton, being disarmed and restrained with the help of two other staff members.

Steven Ferguson, defending, said Walsh’s actions had been a “cry for help” prompted by “unseen pressure”.

“He (Walsh) struggled at school and was bullied,” said Mr Ferguson. “He started at college in September studying engineering but struggled. There were deadlines and he couldn’t keep up.

“The need to purge this pressure was increasing and one day the idea popped into his head.

“It is a fairly dramatic way to purge pressure and he was immediately very regretful.”

Mr Ferguson added that Walsh had suffered some “brutal summary justice” at the hands of the store’s staff.

Sentencing Walsh, who pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and possession of a weapon, Judge Graeme Smith, said he had displayed “completely unacceptable behaviour” and handed him an eight month sentence suspended for 18 months.

Judge Smith also imposed a 40-day rehabilitation activity requirement.