Gambling addict grandmother, 45, who held up a bank is caught after going straight from robbery to arcade so she could play slot machines with stolen £2,000
- Victoria Horrocks, 45, was armed with a supermarket carrier bag and a scrawled message which said 'keep shush, fill bag or I shoot'
- The cashier assumed Horrocks, wearing glasses and a hoodie, was joking
- After she fled the bank she went to straight to the arcade where she was found stuffing the tainted red-dyed notes into the slot machines
Victoria Horrocks held up a bank with a handwritten note to feed her slot machine addiction
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3081218/Gambling-addict-grandmother-45-held-bank-caught-going-straight-robbery-arcade-play-slot-machines-stolen-2-000.html#ixzz3aCxs99Gn
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A grandmother who held up a bank with a handwritten note to feed her gambling addiction - only to be found stuffing the stolen notes into a slot machine - has been
jailed for four years.
Victoria Horrocks, 45, queued patiently behind other customers at Natwest, in Hyde, Greater Manchester, before she demanded more than £2,000 armed with a supermarket carrier bag and a scrawled message which said 'keep shush, fill bag or I shoot'.
During the raid, the cashier who read the note, took one look at Horrocks who was wearing a light blue hooded jumper and black rimmed glasses and initially assumed she was joking.
But the grandmother of four told her: 'I'm not messing about - I'm not joking.'
The clerk then noticed something 'protruding' from the carrier bag which she thought could have been a pistol so began slowly putting cash in a bag - after pressing the alarm.
Horrocks, of Hyde, told her to 'hurry up' before she fled with £2,195 unaware a pack of security dye had also been placed in the bag by the cashier.
As the dye pack exploded over the money when she left the bank, Horrocks tripped during her escape and dropped a wad of notes.
She fled the bank, also in Hyde and went to Nobles amusement arcade in Manchester city centre where she was spotted cramming the tainted red-dyed notes into the slot machines.
Thinking she was trying to use £50 notes because of the colour of the cash and the 'whirring' sound of money being rejected, an employee approached her, became suspicious and called police.
At Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester, Horrocks pleaded guilty to robbery following the hold up on March 23.
Prosecuting Miss Lisa Boocock,
said: 'When the defendant got to the counter she passed the cashier a handwritten note which read "keep shush, fill or I shoot". The defendant had a plastic bag. She said 'I'm not messing about'.
'She thought the defendant was joking because she didn't look like a person who would commit robbery. The defendant said at that point 'I'm not joking'. At that point she saw the defendant had an item in a plastic bag that had a protruding end.
'A colleague had seen the item and thought it might have been the end of a pistol, but nothing was produced.'
The cashier told police that her 'training kicked in' and she dropped a dye pack into the bag as she packed the money, which triggered as soon as Horrocks left the bank.
When Horrocks fled the scene she dropped some of the red-coloured cash and frantically tried to scoop it back into a bag before she jumped into the back of a black cab. As she was about to escape, a bus station security guard told the taxi driver what he had seen and she was refused a ride.
Horrocks, 45, queued patiently behind other customers at Natwest, in Hyde, Greater Manchester, before she demanded more than £2,000 armed with a supermarket carrier bag and a scrawled message which said 'keep shush, fill bag or I shoot'
During the raid, the cashier who read the note, took one look at Horrocks (pictured left and right) who was wearing a light blue hooded jumper and black rimmed glasses and initially assumed she was joking
Horrocks ran off and £140 in cash was found nearby.
added: 'The defendant then went to Manchester city centre to an amusement arcade. She drew attention to herself because she was seen feeding notes into a machine and there seemed to be a high rejection rate of the notes, as the machine makes a whirring sound as this happens.
'She had a red note and the employee thought it was a £50 note and went to tell her she couldn't use it.
'She said it was not a £50. She continued feeding notes into the machine and when she moved on he went to investigate the cash box and found inside there was a large quantity of dye-stained notes.
'Staff then decided to call the police and kept the defendant in the arcade by offering her a drink.'
When officers raided Horrocks' home they found her sofa and items of clothing were covered in red dye.
Summarising a victim impact statement from the cashier, Miss Boocock added:
'When the customer approached, she thought she was an ordinary customer and she felt fear when she saw the hand-written note and when she saw the object in the carrier and heard the threat to 'fill or I shoot'.
Horrocks fled the bank, also in Hyde and went straight to Nobles amusement arcade in Manchester city centre where she was spotted cramming the tainted red-dyed notes into the slot machines
'She was in absolute fear and when the female left she screamed that she had been robbed. The incident is still affecting her now. She is still nervous being in work and finds it difficult relaxing and serving customers. Her work life has been tarnished. It is the most significant incident in her 30 years at the bank and she will never be able to look back on her working life without remembering this.
In mitigation, Ian Ridgway said: 'In my submission this was a fiasco and a botched robbery propped up with the addiction to gambling, and that led to the commission of this offence. This offence was out of character for her.
'It is clear from having spoken to her there are substantial debts and perhaps that is also in the background.'
Passing sentence Judge Andrew Lowcock told Horrocks: 'You had something concealed which could have been seen as a gun. What you did has had a devastating effect on the cashier who has clearly been very badly affected.
'You have a bad record for shoplifting and offences of supplying drugs, but you have never done anything like this before. You had a bad drug habit but you have got off and that and that has now been replaced by a gambling addiction.'
At the time of the raid Det Sgt Stephen Hall of Greater Manchester Police said: 'The bank cashier is extremely shook up which is completely understandable given how traumatic that experience must have been for her but thankfully nobody was physically injured.
'It's quite out of the ordinary that something like this would happen in the middle of the day when the town centre is very busy.'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3081218/Gambling-addict-grandmother-45-held-bank-caught-going-straight-robbery-arcade-play-slot-machines-stolen-2-000.html#ixzz3aCxVQPhg
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