A man who committed two armed robberies at betting shops, wearing a pair of women's tights over his head and carrying a firearm has been jailed for six years.

Emmanuel Clarke, 28, of Hilltop Avenue, Stonebridge stormed into two betting shops in the South Harrow area with a firearm and demanded hundreds of pounds from the tills, despite customers and staff being in there, Harrow Crown Court heard on Tuesday (July 15).

The first incident happened on October 4 last year at Corals Bookmakers in Shaftesbury Parade, South Harrow, Clarke entered the branch and threatened staff with what is believed to be a long-barrelled firearm and made off with £300 from the tills.

More than a month later, on November 25, Clarke carried out the second robbery at Ladbrokes in Northolt Road, South Harrow.

On this occasion he walked up to the counter, raised his right arm which was concealed in a bag and pointed it at staff. He demanded cash and made off with £200 from the tills.

He was sentenced to six years in jail for two counts of robbery and one count of possession of an imitation firearm.

DCI Steve Ellen, of the Met's Flying Squad, said: "When someone commits a crime involving a firearm, whether real or not, the trauma for the people involved lives on long after the incident and can mentally scar victims for life.

"Clarke had committed two armed robberies in the space of three months and without intervention by the Flying Squad would most likely have gone on to commit more robberies and traumatise further victims."

The tights police found near the crime scene which Clarke wore on his head while he carried out armed robberies.
 

Police found a pair of cut ladies tights near the scene of the first robbery, and matched the DNA on it with Clarke, he was arrested in March.

Clarke pleaded guilty to all the charges on June 17, he was sentenced to five years imprisonment for the first robbery, two years for the second which is to run concurrent and one year for possession of a firearm which is to run consecutively.