THE third member of a "cowardly" hammer wielding gang who raided a Hampshire petrol station before targetting a Southampton pub has been detained for four years.

The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was one of three masked robbers who burst into a BP petrol station in North Baddesley and threatened a lone staff member with a hammer.

After raiding the petrol station's cigarette counter, the trio stole the employee's car and drove it to the Bellemoor Tavern in Shirley, where they attempted a similar raid.

But the group were foiled when the pub's manager wrestled a hammer away from one of the teenager's, causing them to flee.

The trio were later arrested by police.

Last month, Jordan Peat, 18, of Burns Road, Thornhilll, was detained for eight years for his part in the robbery.

His co-defendant, 15, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was sentenced to three years in detention at a young offenders institute.

On Monday, the third teenager, 17, was sentenced after failing to attend the sentencing with his co-defendants.

He was arrested two days later and sentenced to four years detention in a young offenders institute.

As previously reported in the Echo, the masked trio raided the BP garage around 10pm on September 8.

With one of the gang wielding a hammer, they threatened an employee and forced him into an office.

They demanded a key to the safe, which he said he did not have, before taking his car keys, raiding the cigarette cabinet before leaving in the Peugeot 206.

At around 1am, the group pulled up at the Bellemoor Tavern, in Hill Lane.

The masked group burst into the pub, which was being closed-up, and threatened staff with the hammer.

But pub manager Steve Hurley confronted the armed robber and wrestled the weapon away from him.

The group fled and got a taxi, but were tracked down by police, who found the stolen cigarettes.

In mitigation, Charles Gabb representing Peat, who admitted robbery and attempted robbery, said: “He recognises this is a very, very serious point in his life. Either he becomes institutionalised or he realises he is 18 and has some 60 years of good life ahead of him if he chooses.”

In sentencing, Judge Christopher Parker described the gang as “cowardly”.

He said: “You young men, as a gang, all masked up and with a hammer, burst into that garage and threatened the staff member and kicked him and pushed him into an office.He (the victim) should never have been subjected to that by you.

“But you didn’t stop there, you carried on and not long after went on to the Bellemoor Tavern.

“One staff member in there was a woman who was petrified by your stupid and cowardly behaviour.”