FIVE teenagers tried to rob a woman in her Stratford shop after their appetite had been whetted by two of them successfully carrying out a violent handbag snatch.

They fled after their victim pressed a panic button but were caught when the police stopped their car within minutes of the attack.

At Warwick Crown Court all five pleaded guilty to a charge of attempted robbery.

In addition Syed Ahmed, aged 17 of Merthyr Road, Spencer Estate, Northampton; and Kamran Ali, aged 17, of Spencer Bridge Road, Northampton, admitted an earlier offence of robbery.

The other three, Abdul Hasnash, aged 17, of Wimbledon Street; Mohammed Gaffar, aged 18, of Pembroke Gardens, Spencer Estate; and Abdul Salam, aged 17, of Symington Street, St James, all Northampton, admitted receiving money from that robbery.

The four 17-year-olds, who were not subject to any order preventing them being identified, were sentenced to two years' detention and training while Gaffar was sentenced to two years' detention in a young offenders' institute.

Angela Palmer, prosecuting, said that in November the five went out in a car, with Hasnash driving, and there was talk about robbing someone, with a dare being made about whether any of them would do it.

In Coventry Ali and Ahmed approached 81-year-old Vera Brain and, after asking her for the time, Ali grabbed her bag, pulling so hard the shoulder strap broke.

He ran back to the car with Ahmed and the bag, which contained £80, keys and other items belonging to their badly shaken victim.

"They went to Leamington where they spent some of the before they drove to Stratford and, perhaps flushed with success, decided to rob a shop."

In Alcester Road Hasnath went into a general stores owned by Kuldip Bahia and her husband to check it out. Fifteen minutes later the other four went in, while Hasnath waited in the car, and, after two genuine customers left, went to the counter where Ali grabbed Mrs Bahia by her cardigan and pulled her over the counter.

One of them hit her over the head with a screwdriver as they demanded money - but she managed to press a panic alarm.

The youths fled when her husband came from the back of the shop but he managed to get the car number.

After they were stopped and arrested near Warwick, Ali said they were "just having a laugh" and Ahmed and Salam said they had just gone with the flow of what was happening.

Hasnash said he had not wanted to get involved in the actual robbery in Stratford, and Gaffar tried to distance himself by claiming he was not really paying attention.

Sentencing the five, Judge Richard Cole said: "These are quite disgraceful incidents . . . and sentences have clearly got to be imposed which hurt."