This was part of a series of robbery attempts made by the duo in the space of less than an hour.
Jonathon Bran, 19, and Cameron Hemmings, 21, made a beeline straight for the man as he walked alone along the water’s edge.
The duo then pulled out a knuckleduster and demanded he gives them money. The man was so concerned for his safety that he made the desperate decision to dive into the icy water.
Another man tried to come to his aid while he was still in the water but was then assaulted by Bran and Hemmings who tried and failed to get money from him during a second botched robbery attempt.
The man stayed in the freezing canal for around 15 minutes before managing to swim across to the bank on the other side to escape Bran and Hemmings.
Police officers found the victim and took him to the hospital following the incident which happened on the Chesterfield Canal Towpath at around 2.30pm on 2 December 2021.
Following their previous attempts, the duo then robbed a man in Gateford Road, Worksop, at around 3.20pm the same day – taking £10 from his wallet before running off.
Bran and Hemmings appeared before Nottingham Crown Court on Tuesday (8 March 2022), having pleaded guilty to one count of robbery, two counts of attempted robbery and one count of possession of an offensive weapon in public.
Bran, of Nuthall Road, Basford, was locked up for three years and four months in a young offenders’ institution.
Hemmings, of no fixed address, was sentenced to three years and eight months in a young offenders’ institution.
Detective Constable India Woodrow, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “Bran and Hemmings carried out a series of robbery attempts in the space of just an hour.
“Their actions that day left one man hurt and led another man to feel so threatened that he had to jump into a freezing canal to avoid being put in serious harm.
“Robbery is an incredibly serious offence that can have a long-lasting impact on victims, not just physically but also from an emotional standpoint too.
“It is for this reason that we work so hard to eradicate this type of behaviour from our society and to ensure that anyone who commits an offence such as this is punished and feels the full force of the law.”