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Accrington gun man jailed for ‘armed’ bank raid
A MASKED ‘gunman’ who tried to hold up a bank has been jailed for eight years.
Serial raider and drug addict Adam Howe, 32, went into the Blackburn Road branch of HSBC in Accrington wearing a high-visibility vest, a motorbike helmet and gloves.
Staff believed the BB gun he pointed at them was a real handgun, but they didn’t give him any money. He left empty-handed and was later arrested, Burnley Crown Court heard.
The hearing heard Howe, who has two previous convictions for robbery, was seen acting suspiciously outside the premises and witnesses called the police.
The defendant, addicted to a prescription drug, couldn’t remember what he had done. He was caught after his DNA was found on a discarded glove. His girlfriend told police she had seen a gun and Howe borrowed a high-visibility jacket.
Howe, from the Accrington area, admitted attempted robbery and having an imitation firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence, on July 5.
David Macro, prosecuting, said staff Liam Ledger and Eileen Waite were working when Howe went to Mrs Waite’s station and pushed a carrier into the well. Howe pointed the gun under the screen and gesticulated to put money in the bag.
Mr Macro said: “Mr Ledger had also seen the gun and shouted for Eileen to move away. Both fled into the back office and pressed the panic button.”
He said police soon found a discarded helmet, jacket and gloves. The .177 calibre BB gun was also discovered.
The prosecutor said Mrs Waite shook uncontrollably after her ordeal, asked to be escorted to her car, cancelled a holiday and couldn’t sleep ‘thinking what might have happened had he shot at her’.
The defendant, then of Buckingham Grove, Church, was jailed for four years in 2009, for terrorising a lone woman worker in an Accrington off-licence. Three years earlier, he robbed an amusement arcade cashier in Blackburn.