A father-of-two who carried out a terrifying armed hold-up at a West Yorkshire bookmakers has been jailed.

Drug addict Brendan Kelly, 41, was so desperate to pay off his debt to a dealer that he armed himself with a piece of metal piping and used it as an imitation firearm to rob a member of staff working at the William Hill bookmakers on Commercial Street, Brighouse.

A judge at Bradford Crown Court was today shown CCTV from inside the premises which showed Kelly walking into the empty bookmakers without any kind of disguise and pointing the piping under the security glass.

William Hill employee Tom Stevens had seen Kelly in the bookmakers earlier and initially asked him if he was serious when he demanded cash from him.

But prosecutor Michael Smith said Kelly replied:"I'm not joking...I'm desperate."

William Hill betting shop in Commercial Street, Brighouse
William Hill betting shop in Commercial Street, Brighouse
 

Mr Smith said the employee believed Kelly was armed with a sawn-off shotgun because he could see what looked like two barrels and when he looked into the robber's eyes he could see he was deadly serious.

When Kelly handed the petrified member of staff a carrier bag he put £150 in it and the defendant left the premises.

Kelly, of Huddersfield Road, Brighouse, was arrested about a week after the robbery, which happened in the early evening of September 13, and during his police interview he confessed to burgling a Brighouse gunsmith's store back in August.

The court heard that Kelly also committed that break-in at the Aaron Wheeler shop on Bethel Street because he had a drugs debt to clear.

Kelly used a hammer to break a window at the store and stole various property including a deactivated Chinese machine gun and a number of air rifles.

The court heard that Kelly had passed on the machine gun to a drug dealer and Judge Peter Benson described the imitation firearm, which looked similar to an AK47, as a "fearsome" weapon.

Kelly pleaded guilty to charges of robbery and possession of an imitaton firearm with intent to commit an offence in relation to the raid on the bookmakers as well as burglary and possession of an imitation firearm in respect of the gunsmith's store break-in.

Today Judge Benson told Kelly that both sets of offences were serious matters and he  jailed him for a total of 44 months.

Barrister James Bourne-Arton, for Kelly, said he had stayed out of trouble for eight years and had been working as an apprentice joiner until he was made redundant.

Mr Bourne-Arton said the robbery was not a sophisticated offence and the circumstances of it suggested a man who was desperate and not thinking clearly.