Two armed robbers who made off with more than £50,000 in robberies at Thomas Cook branches and a payday loan shop have started lengthy jail terms.

Luis Cristo and Jamal Joseph raided Cook agencies in Kent and The Money Shop in Barnet, north London. Cristo also raided a Cook outlet in East Sussex.

Both pleaded guilty to robbery and possessing a firearm at an earlier hearing at Canterbury Crown Court.

Cristo, 20, from Brixton, south London, was jailed for 15 years and Joseph, 22, from Streatham, for 12 years.

Kent Police said the pair forced their way into The Money Shop on December 7, punched and kicked a woman employee, threatened her with a handgun then made off with £1,200.

Three days later they threatened two members of staff, one of whom was seven months’ pregnant, with a handgun at Cook’s branch in Sandwich, where they stole £20,000. A woman was taken to hospital suffering from shock following the robbery.

They made off with nearly £9,000 from a raid on a Cook agency in Hythe on December 14 after tying up two staff members and two customers with duct tape and threatening to kill one while they waited for her to open the safe.

Cristo hit a woman cleaner numerous times on the head with a gun at a Cook branch in Hove, East Sussex, before getting away with more than £26,000.

The haul from the four raids was in various currencies as well as holiday vouchers and travellers cheques.

Cristo was arrested on board a an aircraft about to fly to Portugal from Gatwick on December 31.

He admitted eight charges, while Joseph pleaded guilty to six, the BBC reported.