A man from Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, has been jailed after carrying out an armed robbery at a petrol station in the town.

Kenneth Brown, of Heathfield Road, went into the service station on Whitby Road at around 8pm on Monday 19 October carrying a knife.

The 58-year-old, who was wearing a balaclava, demanded that the female employee behind the counter open the till.

He then climbed over the counter, stole £150 from the till and fled on foot.

The employee called the police and, after attending the scene, speaking to witnesses and reviewing CCTV footage, officers identified Brown as the offender.

He was arrested at his home that night.

When interviewed in custody, Brown claimed that he had been in the area but had gone to a chemist and not the petrol station.

He was charged with robbery and possession of a knife in a public place.

After becoming aware of the strength of the evidence against him, Brown pleaded guilty to the offences as soon as the case progressed to a crown court.

He was sentenced at Chester Crown Court on Thursday 10 December.

Brown was jailed for seven-and-a-half years and ordered to pay a £190 victim surcharge.

Detective constable Josie Fergus, who had a key role in the team that investigated the incident at Ellesmere Port Local Policing Unit, said: “The woman who was behind the counter at the petrol station was subjected to a terrifying ordeal that understandably left her extremely shaken up.

“Thankfully, through CCTV footage, information provided by witnesses and forensic work, we were able to establish that Kenneth Brown was responsible for the armed robbery.

“He is a persistent offender who has committed similar offences in the past. I am delighted that he has been handed a significant custodial sentence.

“With Brown being behind bars facing the consequences of his actions, he cannot pose a threat to the Ellesmere Port community.

“I hope that Brown’s conviction and the sentence he has received brings some closure to the victim.

“I also hope that this case acts as a deterrent to other people and stops them from committing similar crimes.”

Chief inspector Sarah Heath, Cheshire Constabulary’s knife crime lead, added: “I would like to thank the members of the public who aided this robbery investigation and helped us secure the conviction.