Two years in jail for ‘joke’ bank robber,54

A MAN who attempted to rob a Suffolk bank and claimed it was intended as a joke has been sentenced to two years in prison.

Leslie Doy, 54, entered Barclays Bank in Main Street, Leiston, on February 3 and handed a female cashier a note.

It read: “Armed Robbery. No alarms. Don’t Scream. Hand over the money. Stay Calm.”

The cashier initially laughed upon reading the note, which contained an obvious spelling mistake, but then handed it to her manager, who raised the alarm.

Doy, of no fixed address, left the bank empty-handed and was arrested an hour later after a police officer saw him leaving the White Horse Hotel in Leiston where he had stayed overnight.

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Doy, who used to work as a personal assistant for a judge, denied a charge of attempted robbery and claimed he intended the entire episode as a practical joke.

But he was found guilty by a jury at Ipswich Crown Court last month and returned to the court yesterday for sentencing.

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Warwick Aleeson, for Doy, said: “This is an exceptional and a very unusual case. Up until this incident he had led an entirely honest life and served in positions of trust.

“It’s difficult to understand why he went into the bank wearing a disguise and glasses and asked for money.”

Mr Aleeson added that Doy had been caring for his elderly mother for several years but after she died in 2009 he became very depressed.

“This had a dramatic effect on him, he did not know what to do with his life and he had something of a break-down,” Mr Aleeson added.

“He travelled around before coming to Leiston to stay in a pub. Then he hit upon the notion of walking into a bank and handing over the note.

“He felt he had nowhere to live and wanted someone to look after him. Being arrested and living in prison was the motive – this wasn’t done for financial gain.”

Sentencing Doy, Judge John Holt told him: “When you were apprehended your denials contradicted your intention that this was a prank to get arrested. That was clearly nonsense.”

Doy was sentenced to two years in prison. He will serve half of that sentence and the remaining period will be suspended.

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