Three men who robbed a terrified delivery driver, stealing £12,000 worth of cigarettes, have been jailed for more than eight years between them.

John Reilly, of Birchway, Hayes; John Stokes, of Clifford Road, Hounslow; and William Stokes, of Elmcroft Close, Feltham, all admitted carrying out the robbery in Surrey on May 23.

They were sentenced today at Kingston Crown Court, where Reilly, a 23-year-old gardener, was jailed for three years and four months, and John and William Stokes, both 27 and unemployed, each received two-and-a-half year prison terms.

William Stokes, of Elmcroft Close, Feltham, who was jailed for robbing cigarettes from a delivery van
 

The 51-year-old driver was delivering cigarettes to Martins Newsagents, in North Parade, Chessington, at 11.45am when the trio sped up in a blue Peugeot and John Stokes shouted at him to 'keep back or I will kill you'.

Reilly began to load the boxes of cigarettes into the getaway car, but the robbers fled when the victim managed to get into the cab of his lorry and activate the alarm. All three men were arrested the following day and charged with robbery, which they admitted.

John Stokes, of Clifford Road, Hounslow, who was jailed for robbing cigarettes from a delivery van
 

Detective Constable Clayton Woracker, of Kingston CID, said: "These men were caught as a result of some excellent collaborative police work between Kingston and Surrey officers, through the courage of the victim in raising the alarm and a quick-thinking witness who managed to take photos during the commission of the offence.

"This was a frightening experience for a man going about his daily business and hopefully this conviction will serve as a deterrent to these men and others in the future."

A man who robbed two betting shops in South Harrow armed with a shotgun and wearing tights on his head was yesterday jailed for six years.