A gambling addict who terrorised cashiers across the West by launching a series of robberies using a plastic bag full of wires and hand-written notes threatening to blow himself up is back behind bars.
Lloyd Kieran Jones, of Glynneath, South Wales, embarked on a spree at betting shops and travel agencies across England and Wales.
Cardiff Crown Court heard the balding 32-year-old carried out the attacks while out of prison on licence for robbery.
A judge was told the father-of-two used crude disguises in a pitiful attempt to hide his identity, such as wearing a plaster over one of his eyes, before issuing his chilling demands for money.
But despite netting more than £7,000, jobless Jones frittered the money away on drink, drugs and taxi fares.
Prosecuting Tony Trigg said the defendant deliberately targeted women at premises he viewed as “soft touches”.
Jones's first attack was on September 21 last year, at a Ladbrokes in Caerphilly. Until he was arrested a little over a month later in Chippenham, Wiltshire, he struck at travel agents in Cardiff, Haverfordwest, Droitwich in Worcestorshire, Weston-super-Mare and Newtown in Powys. He also tried to carry out two more robberies – at Betfair in Lydney, Gloucestershire, and at a Thomson travel agency in St Peter’s Street, Hereford.
He was eventually arrested in Chippenham, on October 30 when police noticed a man with a bag full of wires acting suspiciously.
Jones, who pleaded guilty to six counts of robbery and two attempted robberies, told Judge Eleri Rees he was “profoundly sorry”. He was jailed for seven and a half years.