A man who wore a pair of tights on his head to hold-up two bookmakers has been jailed for six years.

Emmanuel Clarke, 28, of Hilltop Avenue, Brent, was sentenced today at Harrow Crown Court for two counts of robbery from bookmakers in South Harrow and one count of possession of an imitation firearm.

The two incidents took place last year, the first at Corals bookmakers in Shaftesbury Parade, on October 4 and the other at Ladbrokes in Northolt Road on November 25.

On the first robbery Clarke, wearing a pair of tights on his head, walked into the shop and threatened staff which what is believed was a long-barrelled firearm, before taking £300.

In the November incident he covered his right arm with a bag and pointed it at staff, who handed over £200 from the tills.

Clarke was caught after officers from the Met's Flying Squad matched his DNA to a pair of tights found at the scene of the first robbery.

Detective chief inspector Steve Ellen 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."