A BANK robber has received a life sentence after his latest raids added to a catalogue of serious offending which spans four decades.

Jason Ryan Mark Jarvis held up two Bournemouth banks with a toy gun over a six-day period in December 2019.

The victim in one of these crimes continues to suffer nightmares and underwent 15 months of counselling after Jarvis put her in a headlock and held the imitation firearm to her chest.

Sentencing the 49-year-old at Winchester Crown Court on Wednesday, June 2, Judge Robert Pawson said the defendant was a dangerous offender and the life term was necessary to reflect his repeated robbery offending involving imitation firearms.

Jarvis will serve a minimum of six years and two months behind bars before he can be considered for release by the Parole Board.

Judge Pawson said: "I am passing a life sentence because this is at least your second serious offence of robbery involving an imitation firearm."

As reported, Jarvis admitted two charges of robbery, two counts of having an imitation firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence and a single attempted theft allegation.

In the robberies at Barclays and TSB in Christchurch Road on December 13 and December 19, 2019, respectively, the defendant entered the premises with his mouth and nose covered.

He walked up to the counter and presented a paper note explaining his intentions.

In Barclays he produced the toy gun, which was wrapped in black gaffer tape, and demanded money from the till. As the cashier went to press an alarm he told her not to.

She gave the defendant a smoke and dye pack, which consisted of a metal dye packed with two £20 notes around it and was designed to look like a £1,000 bundle.

She also handed over some more £20 notes as she did not want the fake bundle to be obvious. Jarvis took the notes and left.

This was after he had attempted to steal a charity collection tin from the Post Office depot in Poole Lane, Winton. He was unsuccessful as a member of staff snatched the tin off him as he tried to escape.

Five days later, Jarvis walked into TSB and presented a note to the male member of staff behind the counter which read: "This is an armed robbery. I have a gun. Give me all the notes or I will shoot. Do not raise the alarm until I am gone.”

The staff member thought it was some kind of joke, but the defendant said: “I will show you how serious I am.”

The defendant then pulled out the toy gun, grabbed the female staff member, who was stood nearby, and put her in a headlock.

Jarvis had the imitation firearm held against the woman's chest before he leaned forward and took £590 from the till.

Judge Pawson said the defendant showed elements of planning by having a change of clothes. He dumped what he had been wearing and the toy gun in the bin of the men's toilets of the Mary Shelley pub near the crime scene.

Jarvis’s DNA was found on the handle of the imitation firearm and also on the demand note that was recovered from TSB. 

The court heard Jarvis had 32 previous convictions for 131 offences spanning a 34-year period.

This included terms of imprisonment for several robberies – seven years in 1994, nine years in 2002 and concurrent 13-year and 9-year sentences in 2012. Some of these raids targeted banks and and post offices with the use of imitation firearms.

Detective Constable Holly Sexton, of Bournemouth CID, said: “The staff at these banks were just carrying out their jobs when they were faced with the horrifying ordeal of Jason Jarvis making demands for cash and claiming to be armed with a gun.

“I am glad that through our investigation work we were quickly able to identify Jarvis as the man responsible for these nasty offences so he could face the consequences of his actions.”