A prolific robber threatened female workers with scissors, knives and even a bottle of ammonia during a spree of raids in Northampton.
Peter Elvin, aged 33, of Linden Road, Abington, left one of his victims with post traumatic stress and others afraid to return to work after he carried out four raids between December 30 last year and January 21.
Having first targeted Santander bank in Mercer’s Row, the father-of-one went on to hold-up Hatton Goldsmith jewellers in St Peter’s Street, a Thomas Cook travel agents in Abington Street and a Ladbrokes betting shop in Wellingborough Road.
On each occasion he threatened female staff with bladed items before making them hand over cash. In the case of the jewellers he left a worker bruised after hitting her with a fake shotgun made of two curtain poles.
This week, Elvin was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the crimes and was told he will remain in custody for a further five years if parole officers deem him a danger to the public.
Sentencing him at Northampton Crown Court Judge Lynn Tayton QC, said: “There is a significant risk you will cause serious harm to members of the public in future.”
Prosecuting, Katya Saudek, described how Elvin had a string of previous offences dating back to his early teens. In 2009 he was jailed for wounding after stabbing a man in the stomach.
Elvin was arrested after police released CCTV images of him during the raids and members of the public identified him.
The court heard Elvin had struggled with drug addiction since the age of 13 and was in £10,000 of debt. He stole a total of £6,000 during the raids.
He had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and, at the time of the crimes, was working as a loader at Northampton’s Jesus Centre.