A 51-YEAR-OLD man has been jailed for 18 years following a string of armed robberies on transit vans.

Elton John, of Brockley Road, Brockley, was sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court yesterday (Feb 9).

He was convicted last month of conspiracy to commit robbery and unlawful possession of a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence.

Accomplice Mark Ruddock, aged 46, from Peckham, was jailed for 15 years.

The pair were caught in the act trying to rob a van parked outside the Co-op in Downham Way on October 9 2009.

They had arrived at the scene by stolen motorbike and are believed to have kept in touch using walkie talkies.

A handgun was found in a bag hanging around John’s neck.