Published on Wednesday, October 5th, 2016 at 12:17 pm.

Southampton Armed Robber Jailed for String of Betting Shop Robberies

Armed Robbery

An Armed Robber has been jailed for seven years after stealing thousands of pounds during a string of robberies in Southampton.

Michael Birch, 33, of Wadhurst Gardens, Southampton, pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery, which happened in May, as well as admitting to two betting shop raids in the city.

Southampton Crown Court heard how Birch was arrested just days after the cash-in-transit robbery in Bitterne Precinct on May 16.

During that robbery, Birch targeted a cash-in-transit driver as he was making a collection, threatening him before stealing the cash box containing £12,000.

Just 24 hours before, the court heard how Birch had entered Ladbrokes bookmakers on Butts Road, in Sholing, demanding money from the cashier and getting away with £225.

As a result of police investigations officers were able to identify Birch and he was arrested four days later.

After pleading guilty to the two robberies in May, he admitted to officers that he was responsible for two robberies at Betfred bookmakers in Bitterne Precinct and asked for those offences to be taken into consideration when being sentenced.

The first happened on December 12, when he threatened a staff member with a tyre wrench and stole £4,500.

The second happened on April 10, when he threatened a staff member with a tyre wrench and stole £160.

As a result of information from Birch, officers were able to recover around £10,000 of the stolen money.

Yesterday (October 4) Birch was sentenced to 32 months in prison for the Ladbrokes robbery and 52 months for the cash in transit robbery, which will run consecutively.

The two Betfred robberies were taken into consideration as part of the sentencing.

Detective Constable Kirsten Davey said: “While it is fortunate that nobody was seriously injured as a result of these robberies, each incident was terrifying for those members of staff he targeted.

“These robberies have had a lasting impact on them, as they have been left nervous and apprehensive about working alone or at night.

“Everyone has a right to feel safe at work and hopefully this prison sentence will bring closure to his victims.”

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