A “CAREER criminal” from Chafford Hundred has been jailed for robbery and firearms offences – after using a car to smash his way into a bank.

Wayne Colligan, 43, of Daniel Close, who admitted six offences, was sentenced at the Old Bailey last week.

He carried out a robbery in Welwyn Garden City, Herts, on January 24 last year by driving a car through the front door of a Halifax branch, injuring a member of staff.

Terrified staff and customers were then threatened with a gun before he made off with £68,000 from a cash machine which was being refilled.

On May 8, last year, Colligan was seen in High Street, Wanstead, east London, parking a car outside an HSBC bank. He was stopped by police, who found a loaded pistol and a balaclava.

Colligan was sentenced to life for two counts of conspiracy to rob, possession of an imitation firearm and a firearm with intent to commit an offence.

He was sentenced to six years for having the pistol and four years for having ammunition without a certificate.

Colligan will not be eligible for parole for at least seven years and eight months.