Detectives from the Police Service of Northern Ireland have welcomed the sentencing of 39-year-old Damian Ferris in relation to seven armed robberies and one attempted armed robbery in Belfast.

Today, Monday 5 December, at Belfast Crown Court, Ferris was handed sentences of 10 years in relation to each of the eight incidents. All will run concurrently, meaning he will serve a total of 10 years – five years in custody and five years on licence.

The robberies took place at commercial premises – including off-licences and chemists – across Greater Belfast in late 2017 and early 2018.

Detective Inspector Keith Wilson said: “Today’s result has followed from investigations into eight incidents in 2017 and 2018.

“On each occasion, Ferris would enter the property armed with a firearm and demand money, or – in some cases – other items such as prescription medicines.

“In each case, it was, understandably, a traumatic ordeal for staff and indeed customers who were present.

“I’m keen to acknowledge the support of members of the public and the dedication of our officers throughout this lengthy and complex investigation.

“I can only hope that today’s sentencing sends out a very clear message to anyone who thinks that they can get away with such despicable acts.  We will work tirelessly to keep people safe and to bring offenders before the courts.”