A man has been jailed for robbing a bank with a banana.
The man who told Barclays staff ‘this is a stick up, give me the cash’ while pointing a banana at them has been given a 14-month prison sentence.
Laurence Vonderdell, 50, convinced staff that the banana was a gun so they handed over £1,100 in £20 bank notes. He raided the bank in Bournemouth, Dorset, leaving staff terrified. He then approached two police officers telling them that he had just carried out a bank forbbery but they did not believe him and he was sent on his way. Vonderdell then walked another two miles to a police station where he was arrested for robbery.
A court heard that he carried out the robbery because he wanted to be arrested so he would have a roof over his head after being evicted. He went to a branch of Nationwide with his banana but walked out because there were too many people in the bank so went to Barclays instead. Vonderdell was witnessed pacing up and down outside the bank with the Sainsbury’s carrier bag over the banana. He went inside, pointed the banana at Wendy Marsh and told her ‘this is a stick up’. Jailing him Judge Robert Pawson said: ‘He’s gone into a bank with a banana in a plastic bag. It sounds laughable but the cashier didn’t know that. ‘What would have happened if an armed response unit had been called?’ Detective Constable Andy Hale said: ‘Even though the defendant handed himself in shortly after this incident and the cash was recovered, this must still have been a very distressing incident for the cashier involved.’