A Gate Pa man whose synthetic cannabis craving led him to demand cash and ciggies from a shopkeeper at knifepoint has been jailed for two years and seven months.

Aaron James Junior Hone, 22, who earlier pleaded guilty to a charge of assault with intent to rob and two charges of shoplifting involving stealing two sweatshirts and a $50 petrol drive-off, was sentenced in Tauranga District Court today.

Hone attempted to hold up Greerton Liquor Store owner Karamjid Kaur on February 17 with a knife after his request to hand over cigarettes and cash was refused but he backed off when

Mrs Kaur produced a softball bat, whacked it down on the counter and raised it towards him.

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Hone repeated his demand but eventually left empty-handed after the victim grabbed a phone and called out "police, police".

Hone's motive for the robbery was to obtain cash to buy more synthetic cannabis, the court heard.

Lawyer Craig Tuck described Hone's offending as "unsophisticated" and said the attempted robbery had been committed by a "desperate young man".

Mr Tuck said Hone had participated in a "very powerful" restorative justice meeting with the victim and had shown genuine remorse and apologised for his actions.

He urged Judge Christopher Harding to grant Hone leave to apply for home detention if his sentence came within range.

But Judge Harding said even with discounts for early guilty pleas, his age and expressions of remorse, the end sentence would be well outside home detention range.

Hone was ordered to pay $50 reparation upon his release from prison.