An armed robber who subjected shop and bank workers to a string of terrifying hold-ups has been jailed for six years.

Ivor Manton, 34, who lives in Cheshunts, Pitsea, carried out a series of armed robberies and attempted robberies at banks and bookmakers in London, alongside pal Suby Sahota, 51.

Snaresbrook Crown Court heard how Manton walked into the HSBC in Electric Parade, Woodford, on November 3 and grabbed a female worker.

Manton pointed a bag at her, causing her to fear he had a gun.

She screamed and Manton ran off empty-handed.

CCTV footage showed Manton had been in an alleyway with another man just prior to the raid.

At the time of the attempted robbery, the second man, who was later identified as Sahota, from Ilford, remained in the alleyway until Manton returned.

Manton then removed his outer clothing and placed it into a bag which Sahota had brought with him.

The following day at about4.10pm, Manton walked into Barclays Bank, in High Road, Chadwell Heath.

He presented what was believed to be a gun wrapped in a plastic bag and demanded money.

He was handed £2,800 in cash. CCTV footage again showed Manton outside with Sahota.

The two men were also responsible for raids at Halifax, in High Street Hornchurch, on November 14, Betfred, in High Road, Seven Kings on November 21 and William Hill, in High Road, Woodford Green, on the same day.

On that occasion, Manton entered the premises and demanded money with a handgun in a carrier bag. A female employee, who was in her first week of work, handed him £200 and he left.

Manton was identified in January after his image from the CCTV footage was matched with one on the Met’s custody imaging database.

A search of his custody record found that he had been arrested in company with Sahota for a shoplifting matter on December 31, 2016.

Examination of Sahota’s custody image identified him as the man that assists Manton with changing his clothing before and after the robberies.

During a search of Sahota’s house, a hooded top was recovered which matched that worn by the suspect in the bank.

Det Con Shona Wilkinson, from the Met’s Flying Squad, said: “This series of offences was terrifying for employees were threatened with a gun.

“A recurring theme from all the victims of these offences was they thought they would not see their loved ones again. No one has the right to create such fear when all you have done is gone to work in the morning.” Sahota was jailed for three years.