A balaclava-clad man who robbed a petrol station in Farnborough, Hampshire before crashing into a roundabout in a getaway car has been handed a prison term of 40 months.

According to a report on GetHampshire.co.uk, Guildford Crown Court heard how Aaron Bowers, 31, rushed into the staff area of the Farnborough Road filling station at 3.20am on September 7 last year before fleeing with £250 cash. Despite wearing a balaclava, Bowers was recognised by staff as being a regular customer at the site.

Simon Connolly, prosecuting, said Bowers had gone into the staff area and pushed a cashier backwards shouting “gimme the money, open the till or I’ll stab you”.

Bowers, of Avenue Sucy in Camberley, had originally denied the charge of robbery but changed his plea to guilty as his trial was due to begin.

At his sentencing, the court heard how Bowers had made the cashier scan an item so the till opened, before grabbing £250 in cash and running off.

Mr Connolly said: “A member of staff recognised the defendant having seen him there earlier that day and seeing he was a regular customer of the shop. Even wearing a balaclava he could recognise him.”

He added that Bowers got into a car, which belonged to his girlfriend, and drove off before crashing into a roundabout and fleeing on foot.

Mr Connolly said a female passenger in the car, who was stopped at the scene and detained, had been approached by Bowers not long before the crash and the pair were going off to buy drugs.

“She described him as having this cash and being particularly anxious when seeing the police car which caused him to lose control and crash,” he said.