Costume robber faces prison spell

Detectives are keen to talk to Martin Joseph Reilly, 53, in connection with at least eleven armed robberies.'Reilly has targeted bookmakers in Sussex, Hampshire, Surrey, Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire, Essex and most recently London, stealing just over �20,000.
Detectives are keen to talk to Martin Joseph Reilly, 53, in connection with at least eleven armed robberies.'Reilly has targeted bookmakers in Sussex, Hampshire, Surrey, Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire, Essex and most recently London, stealing just over �20,000.
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An armed robber who used a variety of fancy dress disguises during raids at bookmakers across the country has admitted his crimes in court.

Martin Reilly, 53, formerly of Thorngate Street, Kettering, admitted a series of gunpoint robberies at Lewes Crown Court on Friday.

The court heard he made off with £20,000 from bookies in Sussex, Hampshire, Surrey, Bedfordshire, Essex and most recently London after starting his four-month crime spree at Coral bookmakers in Lower Street, Kettering, on June 13.

Speaking after the hearing, Det Insp Ian Still of Sussex Police, who led the investigation, said: “This is a great result following a very thorough investigation across a number of police forces and led by Sussex Police.

“The fact he has pleaded guilty to 15 out of 20 charges shows how thorough the investigation was.”

Reilly used disguises including wigs, hats, false beards, moustaches and sideburns to alter his appearance.

He also dressed in costumes ranging from a fisherman to a hockey player.

But in the dock wearing a beige fleece and bald, he was barely recognisable from the CCTV footage.

He was accused of entering the store in Kettering dressed in high-visibility clothing and taking £500 from the till.

Judge Anthony Scott-Gall adjourned sentencing for psychiatric reports but said jail was inevitable.

In total Reilly admitted seven counts of robbery or attempted robbery and eight counts of possession of an imitation firearm. He has been remanded in custody until sentencing in April.