A BOURNEMOUTH man who attempted to rob a betting shop in Winton has been jailed for five years and three months.

Anthony Joseph O’Toole, of West Hill Road, was handed the sentence at Bournemouth Crown Court.

The 48-year-old pleaded guilty to one count of attempted robbery at Coral bookmakers in Wimborne Road on Tuesday, April 22.

He denied another charge of having an imitation firearm.

Armed police swarmed to the bookmakers at around 5.25pm that evening following reports a man wielding a gun entered the store demanding money.

A spokesman from Dorset Police said a customer who was at the counter confronted the offender and as a result received a small cut to his head.

No one else was injured in the incident and O’Toole left the shop empty handed.

O’Toole fled the scene, which prompted a major search of the area involving four police cars, two armed response units and the police helicopter.

The following day CCTV footage was released showing the attempted robbery in action as police appealed for information to identify the suspect.

O’Toole was arrested 13 days after the incident, on May 5.

During the hearing, O’Toole also pleaded not guilty to one charge of having an imitation firearm, namely a firearm, with intent to commit an indictable offence.

This charge was left to lie on file.