A man held an imitation gun to the head of staff member at Yate McDonald's while he emptied a safe, then asked for a double sausage McMuffin before he left, a court has heard.

Rudi Batten, who also robbed Miss Millie’s in Yate the night before, was jailed for six years at Bristol Crown Court today (Wednesday).

Batten, 22, of Station Road, Yate, caused the Ridge Junior School to go into lockdown on February 8 after worried parents bombarded the school with calls about a supposed gunman on the loose.

In reality, Batten handed himself in to Patchway Police Station later that afternoon on the advice of a friend.

The court was shown CCTV footage of Batten, wearing an Adidas top and bottoms with white stripes, entering Miss Millie’s at around 6.20pm on February 7.

He was holding what appeared to be a black gun in his right hand, and a knife in his left.

Batten is reported to have stolen around £200 from the till before leaving the store with some chicken and returning to Woodleaze, the residential accommodation he was occupying at the time.

At around 7am the next morning he entered McDonald's, again holding the imitation pistol.

He is reported to have said: "I'm being forced into doing this. I don't want to do this.

CCTV footage showed Batten taking £50 in notes from a till before pointing a gun at the store manager while he was led to the safe.

A red tin containing £250 in notes, two float bags containing £100 each and a bag of coins was taken, with Batten holding a gun to the head of the manager while emptying the safe.

The court heard that Batten asked for some nuggets, but then settled for the double sausage McMuffin after being told the restaurant was only serving from its breakfast menu at that time.

Shortly before 3pm Batten handed himself into the police. By this time he had already been identified on CCTV. A search of his accommodation found the clothes he was seen wearing, numerous coins and the imitation firearm - which was actually a .177 air pistol that was not loaded with any pellets.

Victim impact statements from members of staff at Miss Millie’s and McDonald's were read out in court.

One said: "Any interaction with a customer makes me really tense, on edge and panicky.

"There have been times when I haven't been sleeping.

Another member of staff involved explained he had been suffering from nightmares and flashbacks and was now on medication.

A statement was also read out from Philip Boult, headteacher of The Ridge Junior School, who explained that doors were locked and all pupils were gathered in the main school building after they received a number of calls from parents.

"We did not tell the children why we had done this as we did not want to worry them.

"All through this period we were receiving calls from concerned parents."

Following the incident the school is looking to strengthen its security, with additional fencing set to be installed.

Last month Batten pleaded guilty on two counts of robbery, two counts of having an imitation firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence and one count of possessing a knife or blade in a public place.

He was granted conditional bail and lived with his father for a short while before flagging down a police car and asking to be taken into custody.

Speaking for the defence, Mrs Martin said the offences were carried out in order to pay back a debt and out of fear of what would happen to his family if he could not.

"He is utterly ashamed and embarrassed," she said.

"He is horrified he behaved in this way. He is deeply deeply sorry he committed these offences.

"The lack of sophistication, the lack of any disguise are indicative of the desperation with which these offences were committed.

"He had got himself involved in drink and drugs and with that comes the problem of paying for it.

"He had no way of paying it back. He was really quite terrified about what would happen."

Mrs Martin explained that Batten's friend, who had earlier convinced him to hand himself in, would have paid that debt had he only been asked.

The court heard that Batten has suffered from depression and anxiety and was being treated with medication.

Before sentencing him to six years imprisonment, Judge William Hart said: "This was a young man who didn't know how to deal with the situation he found himself in.

"The staff were clearly terrified as anyone would be. It's the last thing people would expect in a quiet takeaway in that part of the country.

"A chilling aspect of that robbery is the way the gun was held.

"It's clear the impact this sort of offending has. There was considerable alarm in the community.

"You are still a young man. You have a sad and chaotic background.

"You were at a low ebb at the time.

"I do not regard you as a dangerous offender."

Batten has given two three-year consecutive sentences for the two robberies.

He was also given two 18-month sentences for possession of an imitation fire arm, one six-month sentence for possession of a knife and two-one month sentences for breaching community orders imposed following offences of threatening behaviour and criminal damage in the six months prior to the robberies. These sentences were all to be served concurrently, giving a total prison sentence of six years.

Judge Hart also ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the imitation firearm, plus the forfeiture of the stolen money.