Jail for thief who stole from building society

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A heroin user who targeted a Spalding building society office to steal £1,300 has been jailed for 12 months at Lincoln Crown Court.

Nicholas Hall covered his face with a baseball cap and a scarf and paced up and down outside for several minutes before he walked into the Norwich and Peterborough Building Society.

Andrew Scott, prosecuting, said Hall approached a member of staff in the open plan office demanding that money be put into a bag.

He then switched his attention to a second employee who put a large bundle of bank notes into the bag.

The entire incident lasted less than 20 seconds ending when Hall fled from the building with the money.

One of the members of staff was so badly affected by the incident that she broke down in tears and was inconsolable.

Mr Scott said: “This was an open plan office with cashiers working from desks. The staff were not behind any security screen.”

Hall (31), of Hallgate, Holbeach, admitted theft of £1,370 on October 24, 2012. He also admitted possession of a small amount of heroin found on him when he was arrested the following month.

Neil Sands, defending, said Hall had a drug problem going back 15 years and urged he be given a suspended jail sentence to allow him to receive help.

Judge Sean Morris, passing sentence, told Hall: “This was targeted, deliberate theft from a building society.

The public would be outraged if this was not dealt with by way of an immediate custodial sentence.”