POLICE have thanked the courageous people who helped bring three Bridport men to justice.

Ali Kamara 20, Joshua Hayward, 20, and a 17-year-old, all from Bridport, were sentenced for offences of armed robbery and possession of an imitation firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence.

Kamara and Hayward were each sentenced to four years in prison at Bournemouth Crown Court.

The juvenile, who cannot be named, was sentenced to two years at a young offender institution.

Insp Darby said the offences involved an incident in a Bridport home in October last year when two of the men entered wearing balaclavas and Kamara apparently carrying a handgun. He said they demanded property and left with around £200 in cash.

He said: “A large scale police operation involving local police, armed police, dogs, detectives and the force helicopter were deployed to search for the suspects. All three were arrested shortly afterwards and interviewed at Weymouth police station.”

Ins Darby added: “Crimes of this serious nature are thankfully rare in Bridport and the West Dorset area.

“This offence was very specific targeting people whom they thought they could intimidate and I would like to thank the people who have assisted the police in bringing these three offenders to justice for their courage.

“Kamara, Hayward and the 17-year-old all thought they could intimidate and threaten people without consequence and I am very pleased with their significant sentences.

“Their lengthy prison sentences show them and others who may consider serious crime that the police will be robust in dealing and bringing offenders to justice and in cases where violence is used or threatened then we will demand the strongest sentences.”