Boys raided building society in lunch break

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Three schoolboys robbed a building society at gunpoint after catching a bus into town during their lunch break, a court was told yesterday.

The boys, one aged 15 and the others 16, escaped with more than £1,000 after levelling an imitation firearm at a female cashier.

One of the gang struck again nearly a year later, Luton Crown Court was told. By then a sixth-form prefect, he left school during a free period, rushed home to change his clothes and then held up another building society. On that occasion he escaped with £900 before going home to change back into his blazer before returning to the school.

Now 17, he was yesterday sentenced to three years in a young offenders' institution after he pleaded guilty to two offences of robbing building societies and two offences of possessing an imitation firearm.

The other boy, also now 17, received six months in a young offenders' institution for one offence of robbery. The court was told that police were still to question a third teenager.

Judge Daniel Rodwell QC criticised Sandy Upper School in Bedfordshire, where he said it was clear that pupils had known about the first robbery but had done nothing except to acclaim the raiders as heroes.

Justin Rouse, for the prosecution, told the court that the second boy, who was 15, was given the role of distracting a female cashier at the Alliance and Leicester in Bedford. Then the first boy entered and produced an imitation gun, demanded money from the cashier, and was handed £1,045. The third youth was acting as look-out.

Mr Rouse said on 9 March this year the first boy struck again, robbing the Woolwich Building Society in Sandy.

When police arrested him at school he had the money tucked in his shirt pocket.

The next day, his friend, of Potton, Bedfordshire, walked into a police station with his mother and confessed to the first robbery.