Cashier laughed at bank ‘hold-up’ note

A MAN accused of attempting to rob a Suffolk bank claims a note he passed to a cashier asking them to “hand over the money” was intended as a joke.

Leslie Doy, 53, entered Barclays Bank in Main Street, Leiston, on the morning of February 3.

Robert Sadd, prosecuting, told the court that Doy first approached the branch manager before excusing himself and saying he had “forgotten his numbers”.

He left the building but returned almost immediately with a folded note which he handed to a female cashier, Ipswich Crown Court heard yesterday.

The handwritten note read: “Armed robbery. No alarms. Don’t scream. Hand over the money. Stay calm.”


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Doy, of no fixed address, denies attempted robbery, claiming he intended the entire episode as a practical joke.

The court heard from the cashier who said she laughed upon reading the note, which contained an obvious spelling mistake, adding: “I thought it was a joke but he just stared at me and I started to think something was wrong. He didn’t say a word – he just looked at me with a stern expression.”

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The cashier handed the note to her manager and both moved into the rear of the building before raising the alarm.

Fitting the description of the suspect, Doy was arrested around an hour later after a police officer saw him leaving the White Horse Hotel, in Station Road, Leiston, where he had stayed overnight.

Mr Sadd said Doy later told police in interview that his actions were intended as a “joke or a laugh”.

“We say there was nothing amusing about what he did,” Mr Sadd added.

David Baird, defending Doy, said there was no dispute that his client was the man the cashier described to police and was seen entering and leaving the bank on CCTV.

But he suggested to the jury that the cashier’s response reflected that Doy’s actions need not have been taken seriously.

Mr Baird told the cashier: “Your automatic reaction was to laugh. You weren’t taking it seriously at all. You thought it was some sort of practical joke.”

The cashier replied: “I thought it was a joke because of the spelling mistake but I soon realised by his expression that something was up.”

Doy was described by the cashier and a witness in the bank at the time as wearing a black leather jacket, beanie hat and dark glasses and carrying a black holdall.

Police arrested Doy on suspicion of attempted robbery after searching a suitcase and holdall in his room at the White Horse and finding a pair of sunglasses and a beanie hat.

The jury is expected to retire today to consider its verdict.

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