THE getaway driver in an armed raid attempt has been jailed for five years.

Jason McCash, 27, admitted driving two cars in the attempted robbery of the Londis News Extra shop, in Barnes Road, Clayton-le-Moors.

McCash, of Springhill Road, Accrington, wore a balaclava and waited outside the shop in a blue Volkswagen Passat, while two accomplices went in with a two-foot axe.

Prosecuting, Mark Lambert said shopkeeper Nasir Ahmed behaved with “conspicous courage” when he went behind the counter to retrieve a cricket bat and chased the men away.

Shortly after the incident, at 7pm on May 10 last year, residents in Barnes Road noticed a blue Volkswagen in a back alley off Bayley Street, Preston Crown Court heard.

They then heard a red renault Clio “screeching” into the same alley.

Mr Lambert said: “Witnesses heard one man urging another to ‘hurry up and get in’, then the car sped off.”

Police later recovered both cars and found a 27cms Samurai sword in the Renault.

On May 12, a young boy found a bag in an alley in Charles Street, near the shop, containing a grey jumper, two black woollen balaclavas, a set of VW car keys and a cigarette lighter.

Forensic tests showed the sword had a blood stain matching McCash’s DNA, and the clothing also showed evidence of his DNA. When arrested on July 29, McCash admitted he had driven both cars.

Judge Jonathan Gibson said: “It is evident from the CCTV you were wearing a disguise and at least one of the other men took a weapon into the shop.

"Mr Nasir showed extremely great courage and he took out a cricket bat and chased them away.

"There was potential for this to have been much worse but, even so, this must have been a frustrating and frightening event for the shopkeeper.”

McCash, who has previous convictions including burgalry, assault and arson, was sentenced to five years – half of which can be spent out on licence.