Life Sentence For Fancy Dress Robber

2 April 2012, 15:05 | Updated: 3 April 2012, 11:53

Martin Reilly, 53, has been jailed for life following a series of armed robberies that he committed in disguise - including one dressed as Elvis Presley.

The fancy dress robber used wigs, hats, false facial hair and masks to hide his identity and hide facial scarring during the hold ups.

Reilly robbed several betting shops at gunpoint across England, including ones in Brighton, Hove and Eastbourne, between June and October last year.

The investigation to catch Reilly spread across seven police forces nationwide. Detective Inspector Ian Still, from Sussex Police, led the investigation. He said:

"Reilly lived a life of crime and was a prolific offender. He showed no regard for any of the staff in the betting shops, who were all threatened with a weapon before being robbed. I would like to thank these brave people for assisting Sussex Police with the investigation and in doing so, have helped put Reilly behind bars for a very long time."

Reilly was sentenced today at Brighton Crown Court after pleading guilty to all but 3 offences, including an attempted robbery at Betfred, Eastbourne, although this charge will still remain on his file.

Judge Paul Tain said Reiley would serve a minimum of 12 years in prison after leaving the victims of his crimes "immensely frightened'' both during and after the robberies.

Prosecutor Amanda Kelly told the court how many of his victims were still suffering due to the robberies.

She said: "Although none of the victims of these robberies suffered any physical injury, all of them suffered mental anguish and some of them are still suffering the psychological effects today."

The court also heard of how he had locked employees of the shops in toilets, cupboards and kitchens whilst he escaped with thousands in cash.

In total, Reilly managed to steal a grand total of £23,000 across the 5 month stealing spree.

You can watch the video of Reilly walking into Ladbrokes, Gildredge Road, Eastbourne, and pulling his balaclava down at the last minute below: