An armed robber who attempted to steal from a Manchester service station has been jailed.

Dale Burgess pleaded guilty to two counts of armed robbery and handling stolen goods. Also taken into consideration were two burglaries, six thefts from motor vehicles and two thefts of motor vehicles that he had committed in the Hazel Grove and Offerton areas.

At a hearing at Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court on Friday 19 September, he was sentenced to five years six months in prison.

At 7:20am on Sunday 25 May 2014, Burgess walked into Manor Green Service Station, Marple Road, Offerton, holding a claw hammer and wearing a balaclava.

He demanded staff filled his bag with money and hit the till with the claw hammer, but left the store empty handed.

Minutes later, Burgess walked into Woods News and Convenience, Chepstow Drive, Hazel Grove, and demanded cash from the till. When the cashier asked him what he said, he repeated his demand and slapped her in the face causing her to stumble backwards. He then took the till drawer containing money and left.

Both incidents were reported to police and Burgess was arrested.

Detective constable Mark Healey said: “When we arrested Burgess, he said he was not responsible for any of the robberies. However, when we searched the address where he was arrested, we found the balaclava, claw hammer and the clothing he wore at the time. We also discovered some of the money he had stolen.

“The staff were terrified as seeing a man armed with a claw hammer and wearing a balaclava must have been extremely intimidating for them. Fortunately, he was arrested swiftly and brought to justice.”