A man who used an imitation firearm in two attempted robberies has been jailed for more than five years.

Adam Jones, 21, from Ormskirk, was sentenced at Preston Crown Court yesterday (Tuesday, September 3) after admitting to the offences in Ormskirk and Burscough earlier this year.

Between 3pm and 3.30pm on July 19 a man wearing dark clothing entered the Post Office in County Road, Ormskirk and made a demand for money brandishing a firearm. He left the scene empty-handed.

At around 4.10pm a man matching the same description entered the Post Office in Square Lane, Burscough, where he made a further demand for money, brandishing a firearm. Nothing was stolen and no-one injured during either incident.

Following enquiries Jones was quickly arrested by police on Flax Lane, Burscough. An imitation firearm, described as a revolver, was recovered nearby.

Jones was charged with two offences of attempted robbery and two offences of possessing an imitation firearm. He pleaded guilty at court and was sentenced to five years and four months in prison.

Det Sgt Paul Mulrooney, of Ormskirk Police, said: “Adam Jones is clearly a dangerous offender whose actions that afternoon sparked fear and alarm in the community.

“His behaviour was callous and reckless, causing genuine fear for the staff members he targeted, who did not to know the firearm was a fake.

“Thankfully no-one was harmed and nothing stolen, with quick police work leading to Jones’ capture shortly after the second raid.

“This was a fast-moving investigation with support from a number of people, including victims who provided Jones’ description to officers, as well as response officers who arrested him. I would like to place on record my thanks to them.”