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Bank raider Robert Lockwood told Santander staff he had a bomb
A WOULD-BE robber who told York bank staff he had a bomb has been jailed for two and a half years.
Robert John Lockwood, 58, claimed to have a 2kg device in his shoulder bag that would go off automatically if staff at Santander’s High Ousegate branch pressed their “emergency button”, Alan Mitcheson, prosecuting, told York Crown Court.
Lockwood, who was angry about the bank’s overdraft charges, handed over a red drawstring bag and said: “I have got a bomb. Place the money in the bag.”
But an assistant supervisor activated the security screens to protect the cashiers and cash tills and he fled empty-handed.
A member of the public, Richard Parkin, tried to stop him but before the police had time to send out an alert, Lockwood went up to a police community support officer and handed himself in.
Judge Shaun Spencer QC declined to comment on the bank charges, saying even if they were excessive “it could scarcely justify an offence of this sort, which must have caused very considerable alarm”.
Lockwood, of Dale Street South Bank, pleaded guilty to attempted robbery.
His solicitor advocate Colin Byrne said it was an “exceptional, bizzare case” which had come about through his frustration with the bank.
He said Lockwood was an isolated man without friends or family and had not worked since losing his job at York Carriageworks in the 1990s. Lockwood had wanted money for a week’s holiday in Scarborough.
Mr Mitcheson said Lockwood walked into the bank shortly after 10am on November 9 and waited in a queue for a cashier. When he reached the front, he handed over a note that claimed he had a 2kg bomb in his shoulder bag and a scanner that would activate it if she sounded an alarm.
The note told her to put the £50, £20 and £10 notes in the till into the red bag. Lockwood pulled an aerial from his pocket that gave the impression of being part of the scanner.