Jailhouse rock for Elvis armed robber

Martin Reilly with an Elvis look during a raid on a bookmarkers' in Brighton
Martin Reilly with an Elvis look during a raid on a bookmarkers' in Brighton

AN ARMED robber who wore fancy dress – including an Elvis outfit – when he struck at betting shops in Eastbourne has been warned he will be jailed.

Martin Reilly, described by police as the ‘fancy dress bookmakers bandit’, appeared at Lewes Crown Court and admitted a series of gunpoint robberies.

Martin Reilly caught on a CCTV camera during a robbery at Ladbrokes on Gildredge Road in Eastbourne

Martin Reilly caught on a CCTV camera during a robbery at Ladbrokes on Gildredge Road in Eastbourne

Among them was one at Betfred in Cornfield Road, Eastbourne, in July last year.

Wearing a false moustache and rain jacket with the hood up covering his face, he pointed a handgun at a female member of staff.

The woman ran into the back room, locked the door and the suspect left empty handed.

At 8.40am the following day, a man, matching the description of the person committing the previous night’s robbery, walked into Ladbrokes on Gildredge Road.

Rather belatedly, the man pulled a balaclava over his face as he threatened a member of staff with a handgun before walking off with a sum of money.

He is believed to have pocketed as much as £20,000 from several robberies in Eastbourne, Brighton and London.

He disguised himself with a fisherman’s hat, white hockey mask and workman’s clothes and on one occasion dressed up as Elvis Presley for a raid.

Appearing before Judge Anthony Scott-Gall at Lewes, 53-year-old Reilly remained passive in the dock and was barely recognisable from the CCTV images of him captured on bookmaker’s security cameras.

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

Speaking after the hearing Detective Inspector Ian Still 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.”

In total Reilly admitted seven counts of robbery/attempted robbery and eight counts of possession of an imitation firearm.

Reilly, originally from the Kettering area, has been remanded in custody to be sentenced at the same court on April 2.