Edgardo Rivera
Edgardo Rivera was found guilty of five counts of robbery Ware Police Department

A New Hampshire man who was found guilty of robbing banks with a spray panted water pistol has been sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.

Edgardo Rivera, 34, was also sentenced to five years of probation after being convicted of five counts of armed and masked robbery.

Following a trial at Hampshire Superior Court, a jury found Rivera guilty of robbing a Chicopee Savings Bank in South Hadley on 28 March 2016 of $3,000 before going onto rob a Monson Savings Bank in Ware on 2 April of $7,000.

In both cases, Rivera threatened members of staff with a water gun spray-painted black to make sure "no one got hurt", according to his lawyers.

During the trial, Cathleen Lee, branch manager at the former Chicopee Savings Bank in South Hadley, told the jury how she feared for her life during the robbery.

Lee added she is the only person still employed at bank who was present during the robbery, because the two other tellers who were working that day left the branch, which is now a Westfield Savings Bank, according to the New Hampshire Gazette.

She added: "We were certain we weren't going to make it out alive. It's something we've carried with us every day since then."

Rivera's lawyer had asked for a shorter sentence than the eight to 10-year term handed to him because he did not use a real weapon.