A woman has been jailed for her role in a series of robberies which targeted lone women in Bury and Rochdale.

Marie Ellis, 35, of Peel Lodge, Bury, was sentenced to two and a half years in prison at Minshull Street Crown Court.

She had previously pleaded guilty to one count of robbery and four counts of handling stolen goods.

Lee Walsh, 40, of George Street, Rochdale, previously pleaded guilty to six counts of robbery and one of theft. He is due to be sentenced at Minshull Street Crown Court on Monday, December 2.

A total of eight robberies occurred between Friday, 17 May and Wednesday, 29 May in the Bury and Rochdale area.

On one occasion, a 52-year-old woman was approached by Walsh on High Street, Walshaw, as she was walking through a back alleyway. He grabbed her handbag and pushed her to the floor before putting it up his jumper and running off.

On another occasion, a 58-year-old woman had left some bags on the porch of her workplace in Rochdale as she went to her car. On returning to pick them up, she found Walsh grabbing them.

Despite pleading with him to leave them, Walsh produced a knife, which he pointed towards her before running off with the bags.

On a third occasion, a 69-year-old woman was walking along East Street in Bury on her way to receive cancer treatment. Walsh snatched her bag which contained a number of personal items, including cancer medication.

Walsh and Ellis, who was waiting in a nearby car, then drove away.

Detective Inspector Andy Naismith, of GMP's Bury division, said: "The behaviour of these two offenders was appalling and they clearly showed no thought for others as they committed these crimes.

"Their victims are understandably very shaken by these attacks and I hope that today's sentencing will send a message to others that there is no tolerance for this type of aggressive and threatening behaviour in Greater Manchester."