Wielding a fake gun and wearing a motorcycle helmet a robber who targeted bookmakers, including the same William Hill twice in the same month, has been jailed.

Gary Lovett, 49, of Roehampton went on a crime spree in July last year targeting a William Hill in Putney and the same store on Garratt Lane, Wandsworth.

Using a fake gun he threatened staff into handing over cash, though he was only successful on one occasion, taking away £435.

Appearing at Kingston Crown Court yesterday, Lovett, who had pleaded guilty at a earlier hearing, was sentenced to eight years in jail.

The court had heard he attempted to rob the Wandsworth William Hill on July 7, but came away empty handed.

Undeterred he used similar tactics in hitting a second William Hill store, Upper Richmond Road on July 19, this time with success.

This spurred him on to attempt to rob the Garratt Lane store again, but again he was thwarted.

An investigation was launched by the Metropolitan Police Flying Squad, who were able to match the clothing worn during the robberies with CCTV footage of Lovett.

Lovett had been released on licence for a similar robbery with an imitation firearm at a different shop in Garrett Lane shop in 2010.

Detective Constable Vicky Bailey, the investigating officer, said: "Gary Lovett committed a series of offences against betting shops in southwest London causing considerable fear and distress to the members of staff.

"Had he not been arrested he would have continued committing these robberies.

"The Flying Squad is committed to protecting the interests of commercial businesses in London, and in particular tackling violent crime."