TWO armed Pensnett drug addicts who robbed two stores in just seven days have both been jailed for 45 months.

Brett Spittle and Richard Whittaker carried a crowbar and a trowel into the One Stop store in Common Road, Pensnett.

The pair, whose faces were covered by bandanas, threatened staff before jumping over the counter and snatching £120 from the till and tobacco from a display.

A week later they staged a robbery at Tesco Express in High Street, Pensnett, when they took £600 from the till and more tobacco.

But a police officer who learned of the raid realised 35-year-old Whittaker had used the same method in previous offences and he was waiting for him at his home when he returned carrying some of the loot.

Stuart Clarkson, prosecuting, said 34-year-old Spittle was arrested by police the following day after an unsuccessful escape bid.

Spittle and Whittaker, who both had long standing drug addictions, were on bail at the time of the robberies after being caught on CCTV using a stolen credit card to buy £71 worth of goods from three other shops in the area.

The card, Mr Clarkson told Wolverhampton Crown Court, was stolen when Whittaker snatched a woman's handbag as she walked past him and his co-defendant in Bromley Lane, Kingswinford.

Whittaker, of Tiled House Lane, who had 113 previous convictions on his criminal record admitted the two robberies, four offences of fraud and stealing the handbag.

Spittle, of Queen Street, pleaded guilty to the robbery and fraud charges and they were both told the offences were so serious only immediate custody was justified.

Gurdeep Garcha, defending Spittle, said he had been under the influence of drugs at the time of the offending and stressed no actual violence had been used against any of the victims.

Samantha Powis, for Whittaker, said he had been addicted to class A drugs since he was a schoolboy leaving his life in "ruins" but he was now determined to kick the habit.