TWO hooded thieves who carried out five terrifying knifepoint robberies in the space of about an hour-and-a-half in Accrington and Burnley, have each been jailed for eight years eight months.

Burnley Crown Court heard how in the drunken and violent crime spree by Peter Hammerton, 25, and David Brogan, 23, one victim had his arm slashed and a pensioner was punched in the face.

Hammerton was on an electronically monitored curfew at the time, and the record showed he was away from his home for about five hours.

On his return, he contacted the control centre and claimed there was something wrong with the tagging equipment.

Hammerton, of Windy Bank, who has a long criminal record and was in breach of a suspended sentence and Brogan, of Langroyd Road, who had committed four previous offences, each admitted five robbery allegations. They both live in Colne.

Mark Lamberty, prosecuting, said in the hour either side of midnight last Sunday September 2, into Monday September 3, the defendants carried out the thefts with force.

The first victim was warehousemen Nicky Baxendale, 23, who was walking home from a friend's in Cambridge Street, Accrington.

He was pinned against a wall, was pushed, stumbled and dropped his phone. The victim put up his arm to protect himself and was slashed. He had to have four stitches.

The court then heard that Jake McMillan, also a warehouseman, was walking in Hyndburn Road, Great Harwood when a car stopped and two hooded men walked towards him. As he was about to pass them, he was grabbed by the throat by one of the man.

They took a £50 mobile phone and a £10 note and Mr McMillan's £200 silver chain was ripped from his neck.

Mr Lamberty said the third target was 69-year-old Kenneth McGough, who was walking on Burnley Road, Padiham, carrying a takeaway. He was knocked to the ground and one thief rifled through his pockets. Both hooded men then ran off, taking £15.

The next victim was a youth walking home in Padiham Road, Burnley, who was threatened with a Stanley knife under his chin.

The final victim was approached in Kiddrow Lane, Burnley, and an iPod, a £500 mobile phone, a lighter and wallet stolen.

Sentencing, Judge Beverley Lunt said all the robberies involved physical violence and the first victim suffered a very nasty injury indeed. The defendants' only mitigation was the fact they pleaded guilty.