Man sentenced after holding up bookies with potato peeler

These days an increasing number of people use online bookies to place paid and free bets in the UK.However, the popularity of physical betting shops that consumers can walk into to place a wager is still high and so plenty remain in operation.One such retailer was the victim of an unusual crime in recent months, the Liverpool Echo reports.

The Coral shop, which is based on Liverpool Road North in Maghull, was targeted in April by a man who held it up using a potato peeler.

Staff and onlookers believed the implement, which was concealed under a sock, was a gun and were terrified when he pointed it at a cashier’s head.

The man behind the attack on the bookies was 29-year-old Gary McGain.

He succeeded in getting away with £550 and, not content with this amount, he returned two months later, this time getting away with £665.

On this occasion, he was chased and his pursuers saw him throw the peeler and sock into a hedge. It was covered with his DNA and a matching sock was later found in his girlfriend’s car.

Remarking on the incident during a recent hearing, prosecutor Iain Criddle said: “He appeared to be carrying what was believed to be a handgun. It was half covered by a sock.”

In a new development, Ms McGain has been handed a five-year jail sentence.

He had pleaded guilty to two charges of robbery and two of carrying an imitation handgun.

Bookmakers, including those that offer free bets, are sometimes targeted by criminals in this way because of the fact they can have a lot of cash in their tills.

Indeed, over recent months there have been reports of a number of thefts involving such businesses. One of them saw an employee take money from the betting shop he worked in during the night.

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