TWO brothers who held up a Bournemouth town centre bank at knifepoint managed to steal just £160 in old notes and Scottish currency.

Paul David Henbest and Steven Mark Henbest were both jailed for three years and four months for carrying out the robbery at Barclays bank on August 27.

The pair, wearing hooded tops, gloves, face masks and armed with knives, entered the Old Christchurch Road premises shortly after 2pm.

A hearing at Bournemouth Crown Court on Thursday was told one of the brothers went up to a cashier and demanded money was put in a bag. However, a quick thinking member of staff handed over the £160 in old notes and Scottish currency, which could be traced easily.

She said the till was locked and she could not give them more money.

Bournemouth Echo: Barclays bank in Old Christchurch Road, BournemouthBarclays bank in Old Christchurch Road, Bournemouth

Prosecuting, Stuart Ellacott told the court the employee was able to hide thousands of pounds in notes that the robber had not noticed before pressing the panic alarm as the brothers fled the bank to a vehicle parked in a disabled space in nearby Yelverton Road.

“They made their way back to a BMW parked nearby,” said Mr Ellacott.

“They had taken the trouble to cover up the registration number plate using tape and a black bag.”

A short time later a report was received from a member of the public who had seen a black BMW driving at speed in the area of Meyrick Park with its number plates covered.

Two men were seen to get out of the vehicle and one of them walked over to some bushes.

The brothers were picked up by a taxi and the BMW was left at the scene. Police seized the car and traced it to its registered keeper’s address in Bournemouth. where the Henbests were arrested less than an hour after robbery.

Following searches of the bushes at Meyrick Park, a knife was recovered.

Bournemouth Echo: The knife found in Meyrick ParkThe knife found in Meyrick Park

Mr Ellacott said during interviews both defendants provided prepared statements. These said they were at the same address and had not gone out that day. However, in court on October 1, they both admitted charges of robbery and possession of a knife.

Mitigating for Paul Henbest, aged 39 and of Desborough Road, Eastleigh, Elisabeth Bussey-Jones said it was a “moment of madness” that brought about the robbery with him being in an intoxicated state.

Bournemouth Echo: Paul HenbestPaul Henbest

She said he regrets what he did and is sorry for his actions.

Barrister Chris Gaiger, representing Steven Henbest, aged 37 and of Richmond Wood Road, Bournemouth, said the incident was “brazen” and “foolish” and did not reflect the good character and behaviour he had shown throughout the time he had been with his partner for the past eight years.

Bournemouth Echo: Steven HenbestSteven Henbest

In sentencing the brothers, Judge Stephen Climie said the court had a duty to protect the public in serious cases of crime such as the robbery where there can be violence or the threat of violence.

Despite both defendants showing they can avoid offending for some time, in Steven Henbest’s case his last conviction had been in 2013, the judge said they set about the robbery in broad daylight after consuming alcohol and drugs.

DC Phillip Riggs, of Bournemouth CID, said: “This must have been a frightening experience for the bank staff who were just doing their jobs.

“I am grateful to all the members of the public who contacted us with vital information that helped us identify these offenders and bring them before the court to face justice.

"This was a fast-moving investigation and thanks to the information received and the rapid response from officers, we were able to locate and detain the men responsible within an hour of the robbery.”

  • A 27-year-old Bournemouth woman was also arrested in connection with the incident and was subsequently charged with conspiracy to commit robbery. However, the case against her was later withdrawn.