A former West Midlands Serious Crime Squad detective has been jailed for 11 years for attempting to rob a post office in Cornwall at gunpoint.
Laurence Henry Shaw, 59, of Looe, Cornwall, admitted carrying out the raid at Lostwithiel on 13 August.
A member of staff grabbed the imitation single-barrelled shotgun during the incident, Truro Crown Court was told.
The court heard Shaw had been in prison for 12 years for offences including attempted robbery and robbery.
The retired detective constable, who was wearing a balaclava, pointed the weapon at a postman's head in the post office, the court heard.
He demanded that the postmaster put money on the counter into a holdall.
The postmaster then grabbed the barrel with both hands and, during the struggle, the alarm was raised.
Shaw, of Sunrising, admitted charges of attempted robbery and having an imitation firearm with intent to commit an offence.
He will not begin serving the 11 years until the completion in January 2013 of another jail term.
The defence advised the judge Shaw still had the remainder of a sentence imposed in 2001 for an attempted robbery of Barclays Bank, Solihull, to serve.
The judge ruled that the new sentence should be served consecutively.
Prosecutor Jennifer Moore told the court that Shaw also had previous convictions for an armed robbery and attempted robbery of a post office in Solihull and had been in prison in total for 12 years.
Jailing Shaw, Judge Christopher Elwen said it had been a terrifying incident for those involved.