Twins jailed on 30th birthday after being caught out by baggy balaclava

Two twins who robbed a bookies at gunpoint then headed straight to a seaside pub to celebrate were jailed for six years.

Ben and Luke Twyman made off with almost £2,000 from the betting shop in Newington Road, Ramsgate, after terrorising staff with a handgun on February 19. They then went to a pub in nearby Margate to toast their success and count their loot, Canterbury Crown Court heard.

But one of the bungling brothers let his baggy-fitting balaclava slip during the raid and staff recognised him as a regular who had placed a bet there about an hour earlier.

Armed officers arrested Luke when he stepped outside the pub for a cigarette. Although twin Ben was able to escape, he was found four days later and charged with the robbery.

An investigation confirmed that it was Ben who had been brandishing the gun in the ill-fitting balaclava, while Luke stood at the door and kept watch.

Ben, from Broadstairs, and Luke, from Ramsgate, each admitted robbery, while the former also pleaded guilty to having a firearm with intent, and they were sentenced on their 30th birthdays on Tuesday.

Senior investigating officer Detective Sergeant Jason Booth said: ‘The brothers believed that robbing a business was the easiest and fastest way to get their hands on some cash. They threatened staff and pointed a weapon directly at them.

‘It would have been terrifying, as most people would not know if the firearm is genuine in that situation.

‘Unbelievably the Twyman twins didn’t seem to care about the severity of their actions as they went for a pint down the pub immediately after.

‘However our officers take a very serious view of armed robbery and were determined to bring them before the courts so the public were no longer at risk of harm from them.’