‘Grinning bandit’ is jailed for four years

John Williamson robbing Melton Mowbray Building Society
John Williamson robbing Melton Mowbray Building Society
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A ROBBER caught on CCTV cameras as he calmly walked out of a building society with £1,800 in cash was jailed for four years.

Roderick Williamson, who was homeless, used the cash he stole to fund a night at a local pub before buying a Eurostar ticket to Paris and then making his way to Spain.

Phil Howes, prosecuting, told Lincoln Crown Court that Williamson strolled into the Melton Mowbray Building Society branch in Grantham and calmly walked up to the counter.

Then he pointed his gloved finger at a cashier, giving the impression he had a gun before demanding money.

The terrified cashier handing over a wodge of bank notes.

Mr Howes said “He warned there would be trouble if the doors closed on him then he calmly walked away.”

Williamson took a taxi to a nearby village where he went on a mini spending spree.

Mr Howes said “Taxi drivers used by Williamson that day noticed his tipping generosity.”

Williamson was identified from CCTV film but was not tracked down for 14 months before police finally found him living with a homeless community in Alicante.

Williamson, 65, of no fixed address, admitted robbery on May 11, 2010.

His barrister Chris Jeyes said Williamson had been living in Spain but returned to the UK to try and sort his divorce and secure a £40,000 settlement.

But he was unable to find his ex to finalise the proceedings and was then stranded without any money to get back to Spain.

“He was desperate for money. He was staying at a friend’s flat sleeping on a bare mattress and existing on pick n mix sweets.

“He is an educated man. It is very surprising he decided to commit a robbery in a town where he was well known. There was no shortage of people coming forward to identify him when the CCTV pictures were published. A very large number of people responded.”

Judge Michael Heath told him “No doubt you thought you would get away with it. ”