A man who used an imitation gun to hold up a Chippenham bookies has been jailed for four years and two months.

Scott Knowles, 31, of The Knapp, Calne, pleaded guilty to robbery, possession of an imitation firearm with intent and theft and was sentenced at Swindon Crown Court yesterday.

At approximately 8.50pm on September 7, Knowles entered the Coral bookmakers in New Road with his hood up and a scarf covering his face.

He approached the counter and pulled out what appeared to be a gun which he pointed at the member of staff. He demanded the member of staff hand over the contents of the till.

Knowles made off with approximately £150 in cash.

He was later identified as the offender through forensic examination of the scene and was arrested on October 10.

The theft charge relates to an incident earlier that evening where Knowles stole bottles of wine from the Sainsbury’s Local in Station Hill. Det Con Cheryl Hurren said: “Although this incident lasted just a matter of minutes, it left the member of staff feeling scared and shaken up. They believed the imitation firearm Knowles was holding was a real gun and no doubt feared for their life.

“There were customers in the shop at the time of this incident, but this did not deter Knowles who was clearly intent on causing fear of violence.

“I know that this incident caused a great deal of concern within the Chippenham community so I am pleased that we were able to identify Knowles as the offender swiftly and put him before the courts.

“I am pleased he has been given a custodial sentence and I hope this acts as a deterrent to anyone considering committing crime in our community.”