A JEWELLER who has worked in Taunton for 30 years is refusing to “live in fear” after a dramatic robbery attempt on his shop.

Robert Lodge, owner of Showerings watchmakers and jewellers in St James Street, Taunton, fled to the back room, locked the door and hit the alarm when he found his shop under attack.

Mr Lodge had been serving customers when the incident happened but he said St James Street had been “fairly empty” at the time.

He told the County Gazette: “You just do carry on.

“It depends how tough you are, and I’m a pretty tough character. It’s just one of those situations.”

It was the fifth time Mr Lodge, a Taunton resident, has experienced attempts of this kind but he is resolute.

He said: “You can’t go around living in fear all the time. You can protect yourself as much as you possibly can.

“If you go around living in fear, you may as well give up on life.

“It’s just the way we have to live today I’m afraid.”

Mr Lodge, originally from Cheltenham, traded on The Bridge for 24 years before moving to St James Street six years ago.

Emma Trott, co-manager of the Polka Contemporary Jewellery Gallery in Riverside Place off St James Street, said: “Normally we have a ‘ring round’ system when things like this happen… It’s just being aware of it. If you stay linked with the other shops it’s better because you’re more prepared.”

Two men appeared in court last Monday (March 3) charged in connection with an attempted robbery.

Gary Kamara, 52, from Witney in Oxfordshire, and 49-year-old Darcy Whiting from Rockley Road in Luton, Bedfordshire, appeared before Taunton Deane Magistrates’ Court.

Both were charged with attempted robbery.

Mr Whiting also faces one count of assaulting a police officer by spitting at him. The pair were arrested late on Saturday night on the M4 near Swindon, Wiltshire.

Both men will appear at Taunton’s Crown Court for a preliminary hearing on Monday, March 24, remaining in custody until then. Neither has applied for bail.