Merseyside Police is urging criminals not to bother committing offences at bookmakers after a robber from Sefton was jailed for three and a half years.
Jason Gibney, aged 43, from Grantham Close in Southport targeted Ladbrokes bookmakers on Bedford Road in Birkdale on May 7th.
Gibney entered the betting shop shortly after 9am when a group of college students were playing on the fruit machines and ordered the manager to hand over cash.
Gibney was brandishing an object concealed in a bag that both the manager and the students believed at the time to be a gun and complied with his demands.
He then ordered the staff and customers to lie on the floor and not look up before running out of the betting shop.
Detectives from Sefton CID’s burglary and robbery unit launched an investigation and shortly after the incident they issued CCTV of a man they suspected to be the offender.
Following information from the public, detectives arrested Gibney on suspicion of robbery and possession of an imitation weapon.
Today at Liverpool Crown Court Gibney was jailed for 40 months for the robbery and two years for the weapon. Both sentences will run concurrently.
Det Sgt John Fitzgerald said: “Gibney’s actions caused a great amount of fear within the community so it is good news that he is now serving a significant sentence behind bars. He targeted this bookmakers shortly after 9am when there were many people were going about their daily business. The manager was just doing his job and getting the shop ready for customers and there were a few young people in there playing on some machines. It was incredibly shocking for them to endure such an ordeal and this kind of crime can have a lasting effect on victims and witnesses. His subsequent capture shows the level of cooperation Merseyside Police has with the gambling industry and the wider public. Crime prevention measures are incredibly tight in bookmakers across the county and the public understand that business robbery is not a victimless crime. Offenders who target bookmakers and other community businesses risk going to prison for a long time for very little reward.”
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