Suspended sentence for robber, 74
Saturday 29 August 1992
Judge Francis Aglionby took pity on Charles Cowden, 74, after hearing he staged the raid on the Harpenden Building Society in Radlett, Hertfordshire - armed with an air pistol, two smoke grenades and a knife - in an effort to save a sick female friend from spending the rest of her life in an old people's home.
Giving him a two-year jail sentence, suspended for two years, the judge told Cowden that he could not recollect ever having been involved in a case where a person convicted of an offence involving weapons 'had not been sent to prison for a long time.
'But it seems to me that despite the fact that society's disapproval of this kind of activity has to be marked with a heavy sentence of imprisonment, there are a sufficient number of peculiar factors in your case which allow me to take a course of mercy.'
The judge said Cowden, of Kilburn, north-west London, was not a fit man and he was providing constant attention for Rosie Hiscock, also 74 - with whom he had lived for 20 years - who was 'grievously afflicted' with various medical conditions.
As he left court Scots-born Cowden, who admitted attempted robbery and possessing a firearm, said: 'The judge has been very fair. A prison sentence would have been a death sentence for me and for Mrs Hiscock.'
- 1 I'm A Celebrity 2014: Jungle security stepped up after murder and 'suspicious death' near to camp
- 2 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 3 Jeremy Hunt: 'I took my children to A&E because I didn't want to wait for GP appointment'
- 4 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
- 5 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
Sarah Vine criticises lesbian mother Jack Monroe: 'If she was unsure about her sexuality, she should have taken greater precautions'
'Kidnapped boy may have been abused and murdered by VIP paedophile ring,' say police
Black Friday 2014: Opening times for Asda, John Lewis, PC World, GAME and Argos
Jeremy Hunt: 'I took my children to A&E because I didn't want to wait for GP appointment'
Michael Brown shooting: Driver smashes into crowd as protests erupt across the US during a second night of unrest
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: Senior Business Analyst - Insurance ...
£25000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This independent, growing Sales...
£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Multi-skilled graphic designer ...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + EXCELLENT: Austen Lloyd: Court of Protection Solic...