A "DANGEROUS" robber threatened a pregnant woman with a fake gun during a huge spree of robberies across Essex.

Ky Ellis stormed into the offices of Ray Cross Surfacing in Arjan Way, Canvey, and demanded money from the terrified woman.

She opened a safe and cupboard to show there was nothing inside, but Ellis then spotted her handbag. He took out hundreds of pounds in cash from it and left.

Following the robbery on February 21, 2019, Ellis was arrested on March 11 by the Metropolitan Police for other offences in east London.

During police interview, Ellis said had arranged the robbery with a person whom he owed a large drugs debt to and the money was to go towards paying off the debt.

PC Charlotte Appleton, who investigated the Canvey robbery, said: “Ky Ellis is a dangerous offender and I can only imagine how terrifying it must have been for his victims to come face to face with him threatening them with a weapon.

“He put them through a horrific ordeal and his actions left an emotional and financial impact that he paid no thought to when he set out to commit these crimes.

“The fact that he threatened a heavily pregnant woman and stole the money she had been saving ahead of the birth of her baby is especially abhorrent and callous.

“We worked closely with our colleagues in the Metropolitan Police to put this dangerous man behind bars and I hope his victims can feel reassured and safer now he is off our streets.”

Ellis was charged with robbery and possession of an imitation firearm in relation to the Canvey incident.

He was also charged with a robbery at Corals in Ongar Road, Brentwood, on 6 December 2018, in which he and a second suspect threatened two staff members and stole a three figure sum of cash.

Robbery and possession of a knife in a public place after entering the BP garage in Rayleigh Road, Hutton, on December 16, 2018, armed with a knife.

He jumped over the front counter and forced the tills open.

He also shoplifted firms in Writtle, Brentwood, Ingatestone, Doddinghurst, Hullbridge, and two in Basildon, which happened between September and December 2018.

The Metropolitan Police also charged Ellis with an armed robbery of a bookmakers in Stratford on 28 January 2019 and two thefts from shops east London on 27 January 2019 and 30 January 2019.

The 42-year-old of no fixed address, was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court on October 15 after previously admitting all the offences.

He was jailed for ten years, with an extended licence of three years.