A FAILED robbery in Nythe was compared to a scene from Crocodile Dundee as a brave shopkeeper scared off a knife-wielding assailant with a golf club.

When Damien Bendall threatened Sherborne News owner Narendra Patel with a seven-inch blade on June 7, the shopkeeper produced his club from under the counter and Bendall made a run for it.

There was no evidence linking Bendall, 25, of Cranmore Avenue, with the offence at the Sherborne Place newsagents, but he 12 days after the offence, Bendall’s guilty conscience got the better of him and he called Wiltshire Police to confess to the crime, landing himself a three-year jail term at Swindon Crown Court yesterday.

Miss Recorder Maria Lamb gave the defendant credit for his early guilty plea and for handing himself in to police, but Bendall’s cause was not helped by a prior robbery conviction more than three years ago.

She said: “Following your release from prison, imposed on September 30, 2011, and following your promising start, it sounds like things went downhill.

“You know very well how seriously the courts regard offences of robbery, particularly those which involve smaller businesses and how the proprietors of those businesses have to be protected from people like you.

“You appear to have had limited concept of the impact your behaviour had on the shopkeeper.”

Miss Lamb said Bendall’s motive was to return to prison for help with drug problems, but said this was no excuse for not using the numerous agencies available to him.

Bendall was one of the first people through the door on the morning of June 7 after Mr Patel had just opened up the shop.

Colin Meeke, prosecuting, said: “He opened up the shop and the defendant came in. He appeared to be buying a drink and came to the till.

“He brought a 50p isotonic drink to the counter and made as if to answer his mobile phone and as his hand came back out from his pocket he presented a knife with a blade of six to seven inches.

“He began to point this towards the shopkeeper, who then pulled out a golf club and went to swing that towards Mr Bendall, who turned and ran.”

Defending Bendall, Rob Ross said his client had made great strides since his last prison sentence, acquiring a number of qualifications and settling down with a partner.

Mr Ross said: “There were elements of the film Crocodile Dundee when the shopkeeper produced something much bigger than Mr Bendall.”

Bendall was sentenced to three years imprisonment for the robbery and 12 months for the possession of the offensive weapon, to run concurrently.

He was also handed £900 in court charges and an undisclosed statutory surcharge.