AN elderly pensioner was forced to the floor by two armed bank robbers in a terrifying raid.
During the hi-speed robbery the masked raiders ordered the frightened woman cashier to hand over cash and then fled.
A court heard that the gun man, 24-year-old Andrew Colley, later told police he believed Nat West were stealing from him because of the interest on his overdraft.
Colley and his 27-year-old cousin Samuel Horner frittered away some of their £3,000 ill gotten gains on champagne, gambling and visiting a lap dancing bar.
But two days after the robbery police tracked them down and found the remaining money which was covered in red dye because the cashier had cleverly put a security device in their bag.
The raid at the Nat West branch in Mount Road, Bebington, took just a minute but today the cousins were both jailed for seven years four months.
Sentencing them Judge Gerald Clifton said, "It wasn't as though you were desperate to feed hungry mouths.The money was frittered away on trivialities."
He said that pointing the weapon at the only customer, 77-year-old Edward Williams and ordering him onto the floor has been "a wholly unnecessary humiliation."
He added that it was clear from video footage that the victims were petrified.
Liverpool Crown Court heard that the cashier, Samantha Jackson, was so traumatised by the incident that she was off work for two months suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.
Both she and her only other colleague, Jean Williams, who was in a back room, have since transferred to other branches.
Mrs Williams felt guilty she had been unable to help Miss Jackson, who still suffers from flashbacks.
Ian Davies, prosecuting, said that Horner was arrested at his home and he said he had had a few drinks "and it got out of hand."
Colley was found in a Seacombe Pub
getting Dutch courage while considering turning himself in. He admitted having bought a ball bearing gun for the robbery and had thrown it into the River Mersey and burnt his clothing.
As well as his grievance with the bank about his overdraft he had financial problems as he lost his job and had rent arrears.
They went to Blackpool and spent some cash on gambling machines and then returned to a lap dancing club in Liverpool.
Horner, a cocaine user, said he owed his drug dealer £3,000 and was behind with payments for his BMW. The idea had begun as a joke but it then progressed to reality.
Colley, of North Road,
and Horner, of Malvern Grove,
both pleaded guilty to robbery and possessing an imitation firearm.
The court heard that it had been a pre-planned but amateurish raid by two men who previously had only committed minor offences. The Wirral Globe