A VIOLENT knife-wielding robber who put staff at bookmakers through an “incredibly frightening ordeal” had his jail sentence extended.

Gary Boothe, 40, carried out a string of crimes in Poole and Bournemouth last year.

In February this year, he was sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court to serve a jail term of five-and-a-half years, with an extended licence period of a further five years and three months due to the danger he poses to the public. However, this was referred to the Court of Appeal by Solicitor General Robert Buckland QC for being too short.

Following a hearing earlier this month, Boothe’s sentence was increased to eight-and-a-half years with a five-year extended licence.

Mr Buckland said: “These robberies had a serious impact on the members of staff and I am pleased the Court decided to increase the prison sentence to reflect the incredibly frightening ordeal these people went through.

“I hope the result will bring some comfort to Boothe’s victims.”

In November 2018, Boothe robbed around £3,000 from two betting shops in Poole and Bournemouth.

During the first robbery on Thursday, November 15, he threatened the lone member of staff present at the Coral bookies in Oakdale Road, Poole with a six-inch breadknife, climbing onto the counter and crawling towards the frightened member of staff, before taking £720 in cash.

Two days later, he targeted the Betfred in Commercial Road, Bournemouth waiting until several customers had left the premises before jumping over the counter and threatening the lone female member of staff with a knife. He left the shop with around £2,240 in cash.

He was arrested and interviewed over two days on November 21 and 22 after his victims picked him out during an identification procedure. His fingerprint was then forensically linked to the scenes.

Boothe, who is no fixed above, also carried out a number of thefts around the same time. He had a number of previous convictions, including for burglary and shoplifting, and was under the influence of drugs at the time.