HEROIN addict Mark Hagan passed a note demanding money to a bank cashier and threatened to stab one of her colleagues if she did not comply.
He escaped with around £340 from the Lloyds Bank in Studley – but was arrested three days later after the police recognised his distinctive spelling in the note.
Hagan, of Batchley, Redditch, was jailed for four years after pleading guilty at Warwick Crown Court to the robbery and two offences of possessing a knife in public.
Prosecutor Tim Harrington said that cashier Carol Powles had worked at Lloyds Bank for 30 years, and was behind the counter when Hagan came in during the afternoon of October 13.
The 46-year-old had been seen hanging around nearby for around 45 minutes before walking in and disguising his face by pulling his hoodie across.
He passed her a note under the security screen, the effect of which was to threaten that those working in the bank were his hostages and if anyone called the police he would kill them.
As Ms Powles picked up the note to read it, he swore at her before she was joined by a colleague, and the two women tried to calm him down.
Bank employee Anthony Cox, who had been in an office with the door open, came out into the public area and Hagan looked towards him then produced a knife with a ten-inch blade.
Waving the knife around, Hagan shouted: “If you don’t give me the money now, I’ll take him hostage and harm him.”
Fearing for the safety of their colleague one of the women grabbed just over £300 and pushed it under the screen towards Hagan who picked it up and walked out.
Police officers who began to investigate the robbery examined the note and recognised the distinctive spelling used by Hagan, who had no fewer than 64 previous convictions for 152 offences, mainly for minor thefts.
Their belief he was the culprit was confirmed when his fingerprint was found on the note.
Hagan was found three days later and arrested as he came out of a pub in Redditch but he said nothing when he was then interviewed about the robbery.
Lee Marklew, defending, said Hagan was ‘in the unyielding grip of heroin,’ and carried out the robbery because he was desperate for funds to feed his habit.
Jailing Hagan, Recorder Christopher Tickle said: “You went into a bank, armed with a knife and disguised to a degree, and you demanded money.
“I appreciate the ladies were behind glass and Mr Cox managed to get behind the counter, but you produced this knife and used it to threaten them while they were seeking to do a service for the public.
“You have a long record but what possessed you to go and do this, heaven only knows.”