THIS is the moment terrified women workers at a bookmakers were confronted by a gunman.

The man walked into Ladbrokes in Chorley New Road, Horwich, at 7.15pm on Wednesday, posing as a customer.

He sat down and calmly filled out a betting slip before walking to the counter and pulling out a black handgun.

He pointed it at staff and demanded money before casually walking out with hundreds of pounds.

The gunman made no attempt to cover his face and detectives hunting him have released CCTV footage and are appealing to readers of The Bolton News to help to catch him.

Det Con Rob Parker, of Astley Bridge CID, said: "This was a terrifying ordeal for the two women who were working at the time.

"The CCTV footage that we have recovered is of excellent quality and we are hoping that someone will recognise this man.

"It was a brazen robbery at a time when others customers could have walked in at any time and what is unusual is that the offender made no attempt to cover his face."

After leaving the shop, the man got in to a silver Peugeot which was parked outside and drove off in the direction of the Beehive roundabout.

He is described as white, aged 35, about 5ft 9in tall and of a heavy build.

He had two to three days of beard growth and was wearing a foreign legion-style, dark peaked cap, a black fleece and dark trousers.

In March, 2005, an armed robber stole thousands of pounds from the same betting shop after threatening staff with a handgun.

Anyone who recognises the man or has information about the robbery should contact Astley Bridge CID on 0161 856 5740 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.