Bank robber jailed for 12 years

AN ARMED robber who targeted two Essex banks on the same day has been jailed for 12 years.Martin Dipre, 42, using a replica of a semi-automatic pistol, attempted to rob Barclays banks in Kelvedon and Danbury, a court heard yesterday .

AN ARMED robber who targeted two Essex banks on the same day has been jailed for 12 years.

Martin Dipre, 42, using a replica of a semi-automatic pistol, attempted to rob Barclays banks in Kelvedon and Danbury, a court heard yesterday .

In the course of nine days, he also twice threatened staff at the Cheltenham and Gloucester in Ware High Street with the same replica gun.

Prosecutor Ian Wade told St Albans Crown Court that at 3.20pm on October 9 last year, Dipre went into the small branch of Barclays in Kelvedon telling a woman cashier: "This is not a joke hand over the money."


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He tried to point the gun at her and a male cashier through an opening on the glass panel, but the woman hit the alarm and the man managed to pull his colleague clear into a corridor.

Dipre left empty-handed and drove onto Danbury where, at 3.55pm, he went into the bank and held a gun to a woman customer's head. He told the cashiers: "Hand over the money or I will shoot the customer." He escaped with over £1,200.

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Then on November 12, Dipre pulled out the gun in the Cheltenham and Gloucester in Ware telling the cashier Alison Barker "Give me money". He escaped with £700.

Nine days later he returned to the same branch and again threatened Miss Barker. He was given £600, but was chased by member of staff Louise Edrich. In Church Street she met a member of the public, Janet Bush, who had been suspicious of Dipre and was able to memorise the number plate of his cream-coloured Ford Granada.

Police arrested Dipre at his flat in Harlow in January and the imitation gun was found hidden behind a bath panel.

Dipre of Northbrooks, Harlow, appeared for sentence yesterday having pleaded guilty to three charges of robbery, one of attempted robbery and four of having an imitation firearm.

Defence barrister Jan Hayes said Dipre showed genuine remorse and wished to apologise to his victims.

She said he was suffering from a medical condition that could mean he would die in prison. He had made his health worse by taking heroin but since being held on remand in Woodhill prison he had been drug-free, she said.

Jailing him, Judge Findlay Baker, QC, said: "These were four serious offences of robbery."

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