A masked man who held up a building society office in Spalding town centre has been jailed for two years.
Matthew Dye covered his face in a bid to disguise his appearance before he walked into the Nottingham Building Society in Sheep Market in the town and demanded cash.
Phil Howes, prosecuting, said: “He was wearing a black coat and his hood was over his head. As he approached the door he pulled down a balaclava to cover his face.”
“He approached the counter. He said to put the money in the bag. He said he didn’t want to hurt anyone but he would if he had to. Dye added: “I need money”.
Mr Howes said that staff followed the society’s instructions for such incidents and just over £1,000 in notes was placed in the bag provided by Dye.
Dye asked for more money but was not given any and staff pressed the alarm button. Dye then walked out of the building and cycled away.
He was tracked by CCTV cameras and arrested minutes later at a house in The Meadows, Spalding.
Mr Howes said: “He was seen counting his money when officers went into the address. He gave an explanation that the money belonged to someone else.”
The prosecutor said that CCTV footage showed Dye hanging around outside the office for 20 minutes before the robbery. He then placed a brick inside the door to prevent it being closed before going in.
Mr Howes said that both the members of staff who were working on the counter at the time had been affected by what happened and later had to take time off work.
The court was told that Dye had 48 previous convictions for a total of 118 offences over a 19 year period.
Dye, 33, of no fixed address, admitted a charge of robbery as a result of the incident on the afternoon of March 29 this year. He was jailed for two years.
Judge Simon Hirst, passing sentence, told him: “You have a shockingly long history of convictions dating back many years.
“This case is aggravated by the sheer extent of your previous convictions. There was a degree of planning.
“Plainly this offence is so serious that only immediate custody can be passed.”
Mark Watson, in mitigation, said that Dye had a history of drug problems and went back on heroin after suffering two family bereavements
“He didn’t go in there with the intention of using any violence. When he asked for more money and none was forthcoming he just walked out and cycled away.”