A detective from the Police Service of Northern Ireland has commented following the imprisonment of two men involved in 'traumatic' armed robberies in east Belfast.

William Paterson (40) and Darren Shah (42) were sentenced at Belfast Crown Court earlier today, Thursday 5th October, in relation to a number of robberies and attempted robberies in the Ormeau and Rosetta areas of Belfast in October and November 2021.

Mr Paterson was sentenced to nine years and Mr Shah was sentenced to seven years. Both men will serve half of their sentence in custody and half on licence.

All of the incidents were carried out at commercial premises and involved the use of knives.

Detective Inspector Michael McDonnell said: “Each of these incidents was understandably traumatic for the members of staff and customers who were present at the time. Hopefully the sentences that have been passed down today will provide some comfort to those who were affected. I would like to thank anyone who assisted detectives with the investigation."