A ROBBER who was part of a gang which struck three times in one day has been sentenced to two years and nine months in jail.

Gary McCready, 24, together with two other men, punched a man in the face and stole his Ford Focus on Southend seafront.

Shortly after the attack on August 25 last year, McCready drove up alongside two Italian men walking along the seafront in Leigh.

His accomplices got out of the stolen car and assaulted the men, taking £6 from one and a wallet from the other.

McCready of Pitseaville Grove, Pitsea, had been sentenced, back in May, to four-and-a-half years for other offences, including two knifepoint robberies on the Co-op, in Butneys, Basildon.

At Basildon Crown Court, Judge Michael Brooke said: “These matters should have been brought before Southend Crown Court at the same time as those matters to which I have just alluded.

“Good sentencing practice means he should have been sentenced for these matters together. The fact is they were not.

“The sentencing I am embarking on, is to achieve what the result of that would have been.”

McCready, who has 20 previous convictions, asked for a further eight offences to be taken into consideration.

The two prison sentences are to run concurrently.