A bungling blackmailer who threatened to hack into Barclays' IT systems if the bank did not hand over £200,000, has been sentenced to three years behind bars after messing up the raid.
Inept thief Stuart Kearns sent a demand purporting to come from an organised crime gang to the Barclays branch in Beckenham, South London. The letter threatened to bring down the bank's computer systems, and hinted that staff would be attacked if the ransom was not paid.
However, the bank reported the matter to the police who arranged a sting operation to catch the blackmailer.
Kearns, 24, of Dorrington Court, South Norwood, picked up the loot on 31 January at a drop he had arranged in Croydon. He used his own white van that had been fitted with false number plates for the daring raid.
He then attempted to make a quick escape. However, pursuing police had little trouble arresting the master thief after he got lost on his elaborate getaway route and ended up trapped in a cul-de-sac.
Police were helped very much with their enquiries when they found a four-page essay that Kearns wrote to help him remember how to conduct the bank raid.
Kearns' defence counsel, Jamie Porter, said that his client denied carrying out the crime but added - confusingly - that Kearns was afraid of a gang that had forced him to commit the robbery. However, Porter made more sense when he described the raid as "ill-conceived and very amateurish".
The jury at Inner London Crown Court found Kearns guilty of blackmail.
IBM and Technical University of Munich team demonstrate how Shor's algorithm, which can't be cracked by conventional computers, can be solved quickly with quantum computing
Hubble Space Telescope finds superflares from young red dwarfs could strip away planetary atmosphere
Younger stars are 100 to 1,000 times more energetic than when they're older
Two of the big four supermarkets will use the system to control sales of restricted products
PUBG news and updates: November's Update #23 to bring new Skorpion pistol and changes to blue zone visibility
Genuinely useful side-arm coming to PUBG in Update #23