AN armed robber who stole more than £5,000 in terrifying raids on two post offices has been told he is likely to be jailed for life.

In the first attack Dion Kevin Levy burst into Martock Post Office, pointed an air gun in owner Charlotte Gordon's face, climbed over the counter and threatened to shoot her if she didn't open the till and hand over the money.

Mrs Gordon, who by this time had the gun pressed against her neck, carried out his orders and told her two employees to give Levy the money from a second till.

She was "absolutely terrified and thought she was about to die" but managed to bolt out of the premises shouting, "call the police", prosecutor Ian Fenny told a hearing at Taunton Crown Court today (Friday).

Levy, 40, of Queen's Crescent, Stoke-sub-Hambdon, ran off with £4,616.25 and jumped into a car before speeding off, although he dropped some of the cash in his haste to get away.

His DNA was later discovered on items he left in the vehicle, including the gun.

In a witness impact statement, Mrs Gordon said the incident on January 4 this year had left her "anxious and stressed", struggling to sleep and suffering nightmares.

Five days later, Levy targeted Yetminster Post Office, in Dorset, where he ran into the shop, jumped over the counter brandishing a Stanley knife and demanded money.

He was chased out of the building by the manager but managed to get away in a car with £750.65.

The manager told the court in a written statement he genuinely feared he was going to be stabbed and that the attack had left him with "mental and physical" issues.

The court heard that Levy, who appeared via videolink from prison after previously pleading guilty to two counts of robbery, had in the past been sentenced to a total of 16 years for eight robberies, three years for burglary and fraud and nine months for escaping from prison.

David Scutt, defending, said his client had a number of mental health issues that, without treatment, lead him to commit "non-thinking, compulsive" offences.

Judge David Ticehurst adjourned the case for a psychiatric report and remanded Levy in custody, but warned him: "The most likely outcome is a life sentence."