A robber who targeted travel agencies with an imitation gun and knives this summer could face a life sentence.

Alan Roberts targeted three shops in the Liverpool area together with branches in Frodsham and Knutsford in Cheshire, in Huddersfield, and in Leek, Staffordshire.

The offences all took place between July and September this year, Liverpool Crown Court heard.

Roberts, 44, from West Derby, Liverpool, admitted six counts of robbery and one attempted robbery.

He also admitted four counts of possession of an offensive weapon and one count of possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

The court heard the weapon was in fact a BB (ball bearing) gas-powered pistol.

Michael Bagley, defending, said his client, appearing via video link from Altcourse prison, wanted to know his fate as soon as possible.

He was previously sentenced to nine years, after robbing a Co-Op travel agency in Derbyshire in October 2010.

However, Judge Denis Watson, QC, said he required a pre-sentence report to consider whether Roberts was dangerous, as set out in law.

He said: “These offences, even on their own, would give rise to a risk assessment in my view and then there is the additional factor of the previous conviction from Derby Crown Court in 2011, which really underlines the need for a dangerousness assessment.”

Judge Watson said he would adjourn sentencing until November 1 so this report could be made and victim personal statements gathered, the Liverpool Echo reported.

He said: “You are facing a long sentence. Really the only question is what type of sentence it is, whether it is necessary or compulsory to pass a life sentence, or whether it is necessary to impose an extended sentence.

“These are all matters that will be considered on the next occasion.”