Thursday, January 31, 2013
A bungling robber from Topsham has admitted trying to steal money in a doomed raid on his regular building society branch – where staff recognised him as soon as he went in.
Barry Little, 36, went into the Britannia Building Society in Cowick Street, Exeter, armed with a knife – but fled empty-handed after being overpowered and bundled out of the door.
It was the second time within a year he had tried to carry out a robbery, but both attempts failed.
In the first he went into a Co-op shop in Sidwell Street, Exeter, and stuck his finger in his jacket pocket to try to give the impression he had a gun.
Nobody was fooled, and staff called the police after telling him not to be so stupid.
The most recent attack also ended in his arrest because he did not run away after being ejected from the building society branch.
Little, of Seabrook, admitted attempted robbery at Exeter Crown Court and was remanded in custody to await a pre-sentence report.
Judge Phillip Wassall was told the defence may seek a psychiatric report because Little is a paranoid schizophrenic who was being treated in a halfway house hostel at the time of the offence.
Mr David Bowen, prosecuting, said: “This was a knifepoint attempted robbery of a small building society branch where the defendant was overpowered and pushed outside the door.
“The police were called and he remained in the vicinity and was arrested. He made full admissions.”
Mr Warren Robinson, defending, said: “The pre-sentence report will have to look at all the options. This is a man with a history of paranoid schizophrenia who indicates he heard voices in his head.
“There was a psychiatric report on him a year ago for another robbery matter, and it may be that a further report will need to look at a hospital order, which is the only alternative to custody.”
The judge said the probation officer who prepares the pre-sentence report should see the psychiatric report from the previous hearing.
He adjourned the case for sentence and remanded Little in custody.