Fancy dress armed robber sentenced

Martin Reilly wearing a disguise while committing armed robbery at William Hill in Hove

Martin Reilly wearing a disguise while committing armed robbery at William Hill in Hove

First published in National News © by

A serial armed robber who dressed up as Elvis Presley and sported other bizarre disguises when he targeted betting shops across Britain is to be sentenced.

Martin Reilly, 53, used wigs, hats, false beards, moustaches and a fright mask to alter his appearance and hide scarring on his cheeks during hold-ups.

In one raid, he impersonated Presley - whose UK number one hits included (You're the) Devil In Disguise - by donning aviator-style sunglasses, stick-on sideburns and a black wig.

His crimes, stretching across seven police force areas, sparked a nationwide manhunt - and images of his outlandish costumes drew widespread publicity.

Reilly was eventually arrested and charged by detectives from Sussex Police with robbing £23,000.

In January at Lewes Crown Court he pleaded guilty to seven robberies - in Brighton; Eastbourne; Woking, Surrey; Portsmouth, Hampshire; Westcliff-on-sea, Essex; Bedford, Bedfordshire and west London, a Sussex Police spokeswoman said.

Reilly, of no fixed address, also admitted an attempted robbery at a William Hill betting shop in Hove. The offences were all committed between July and October last year.

Detective Inspector Ian Still, who led the inquiry, said after his conviction that it was "satisfying" to have stopped him before the possibility of further offending.

Reilly, who is in custody, will be sentenced at Brighton Crown Court.

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