Prolific Spalding shoplifter jailed for two years after masked hold-up at building society in town centre
A masked man who held up a building society branch in Spalding town centre has been jailed for two years.
Matthew Dye (33), of no fixed address, covered his face in a bid to disguise his appearance before he walked into the Nottingham Building Society in Sheep Market 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 and said to put the money in the bag.
"He said that he didn't want to hurt anyone but he would if he had to."
Mr Howes added that Dye told the building society staff: "I need money" before they followed instructions for such incidents .
Just over £1,000 in notes was placed in the bag provided by Dye who asked for more money that was not given to him.
The court was told that a member of staff pressed the alarm button before Dye walked out of the building and cycled away.
However, 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.
Dye admitted a charge of robbery as a result of the incident on the afternoon of Friday, March 29.
Handing down the two-year jail sentence, Judge Simon Hirst told Dye: "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 and 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," Mr Watson said.
"When he asked for more money and none was forthcoming, he just walked out and cycled away."