An Erith bank robber has been sentenced to five-and-a-half years in prison for snatching a cash box from a security guard in Northumberland Heath.

Aaron Phillips, 25, took the case of money from a G4S employee whose security van was parked outside the Natwest bank in Bexley Road.

Witnesses saw the opportunist robbery unfold at around 9.10am on April 3 as the guard was about to walk into the bank.

After taking the cash box, Phillips fled across Bexley Road on foot and headed down Northumberland Park with one of the branch’s customers in pursuit.

He was arrested at his home in Austen Road, Erith, just hours after the incident and the cash box was recovered.

Phillips was charged with robbery the same day and yesterday at the Old Bailey he admitted the offence before being sentenced.