A MAN who committed a string of robberies at bookmakers in Bournemouth and Portsmouth has been warned that he faces a “substantial” prison sentence.

David Hinde raided three betting shops in as many days earlier this month, carrying a knife with him on two occasions.

The defendant, of Walpole Road in Boscombe, began his crime spree at Ladbrokes in Christchurch Road, Boscombe East, on May 7, where the store was said to have been held up by a suited man wielding a hammer.

The incident sparked a manhunt involving the police helicopter, but no one was arrested, and the following day the Coral shop in Castle Lane West was targeted by a robber armed with a knife.

The 34-year-old was arrested in the Portsmouth area following a raid at Ladbrokes in Leith Avenue, Portchester.

He pleaded guilty to three counts of robbery and two of having an article with a blade or point in a public place – both of these counts referred to a knife.

Mitigating for Hinde, Rufus Taylor said: “We need to obtain a psychiatric report (before sentencing).

“The defendant was the victim of a serious stabbing in 2007 and there is still some post-traumatic stress disorder.”

Judge John Harrow told the defendant that he must cooperate with the Probation Service and the psychiatrist.

“You will return here for sentence on July 25,” he said.

“Almost inevitably, there will be a substantial prison sentence.”

Hinde, who spoke to confirm his name and enter guilty pleas to each of the five counts, replied: “Yes my Lord” as he was led back into custody.