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Bank robber, 15, to be sentenced

A "model pupil" who robbed a bank with an imitation firearm will be sentenced later today.

The 15-year-old schoolboy, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, acted as if he was in a "real-life video game" when he carried out the raid and was motivated by "greed", Liverpool Youth Court was told last month.

The boy held up a branch of Barclays bank in Breck Road, Liverpool, on September 20 and made off with more than £2,000.

But he was turned over to the police by his mother who was shocked to find a stash of cash, stained with dye, and a fake firearm in his bedroom.

Sending the case to Liverpool Crown Court for sentence, District Judge Ian Lomax said: "This is a very serious matter. It's an armed robbery but not in the conventional sense most people would recognise.

"It's a bizarre, surreal case of a young man almost acting like a real-life action video game. Nevertheless it was a robbery."

The court heard that the boy was a "model pupil" at school and was not known for misbehaving.

After his arrest he told police he carried out the robbery because he was envious of other people's material possessions, the court - sitting at Liverpool Community Justice Centre - heard.

Mr Lomax said his crime was "motivated by greed and immaturity" and by "whatever influences" he had been under in recent time.

The judge said those influences may include "another pupil or something you have been watching or playing".

Debra Chan, prosecuting, told the hearing that the boy was a ''model pupil, in the top set who attends every day'' and who was now facing a ''substantial custodial sentence".

The boy, who pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery and one count of possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, was granted conditional bail and is due to be sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court later today.


From Belfast Telegraph