TWO armed robbers who carried out a string of raids across Hampshire have been jailed.

Wearing scarves to cover their faces, Wayne Grant and Connor Davis targeted two petrol stations and a betting shop across a two-day robbery spree.

On two of the raids, the pair used a knife and a baton to threaten staff members into handing over cash.

Yesterday the pair were jailed for a combined 17 years at Southampton Crown Court.

The court heard the pair, one carrying a knife and the other a police-style baton, carried out their first robbery at the Esso petrol station on Chickenhall Lane, Eastleigh, in the early hours of September 26, 2017.

Wearing scarves to cover their face, the pair demanded money from a staff member, who handed over between £500 and £1,000.

Less than 30 minutes later, the pair carried out another robbery at the Texaco petrol station between Botley and Hedge End.

The court heard that the staff member did not see a weapon produced, but handed over an unknown amount cash when it was demanded.

Then, on the following day, Grant carried out a Google search of Betfred on Aldermoor Road in Southampton.

Two hours later, the pair raided the betting shop and stole more than £3,000.

Both denied three counts of robbery but were found guilty following a trial at Southampton Crown Court.

Mitigating for Grant, 27, of Byron Road, Southampton, Mark Florida James said his client, who had recently become a father, had faced a difficult upbringing.

Mitigating for Davis, 25, of no fixed address, Jo Chester said her client had also had a “disadvantageous start to life” and had struggled with the effects of Class A drug use.

Judge Peter Henry sentenced Grant to eight years in prison and Davis nine years custody.

He said: “These employees had done nothing wrong. They were doing their jobs and should not have had to deal with people like you coming to threaten them in this way.

“Whatever the misfortune in your backgrounds, there is no excuse for putting people in such fear.”

Detective Constable Sean Owens who was in charge of the investigation said: “These kinds of incidents can have a huge emotional impact on the staff members, especially when Grant and Davis were carrying weapons and making demands.

“I can’t imagine the lasting impact this has, and this is why it so important we get justice for those caught up in this kind of violence and greed."