A bungling bank robber left empty-handed because staff were unable to read his threatening note due to his terrible handwriting.
Pensioner Alan Slattery, 67, tried to rob a branch of Nationwide in Eastbourne, Sussex, using a handwritten note that said: ‘your screen won’t stop what I’ve got, just hand over the 10s and the 20s. Think about the other customers’.
But staff were confused and struggled to decipher the message due to Slattery’s scrawl and he left without any cash.
A week after his first attempt on March 18, 2021, Slattery’s ruse did pay off when he entered the Nationwide branch in nearby St Leonards.
He handed over another threatening note to the cashier who, in fear for her safety, gave him £2,400 in cash. Slattery did not say anything, but left with the money.
Police were called to both incidents and identified Slattery from the pass he used to board a bus moments after the second robbery.
But, they still hadn’t tracked him down when he tried a third robbery on April 1, this time at a branch of NatWest in Hastings.
Slattery entered the branch and again handed over a threatening note demanding money but the cashier challenged him and he promptly left the building.
Officers were then finally sent around to check out his last known address and saw him walking in the local area.
He was arrested on suspicion of robbery and two counts of attempted robbery.
A search of his home found some sticky labels identical to the label that had been handed to staff at NatWest, and a jacket that matched that of the man seen in CCTV.
Appearing at Lewes Crown Court, Slattery, of St Leonards, pleaded guilty and was handed a four year prison sentence plus an extra two years on licence.
Investigating officer, Detective Constable Jay Fair, said: ‘These incidents caused fear and distress to both the employees working in the banks, and to the wider public.
‘I’d like to thank all the victims and witnesses who supported our investigation, and I’m pleased to see the severity of the offences reflected in the sentence handed out by the court.’