This man had his benefits stopped – so he decided to rob a South Wales bank

In the last few months Ive heard people saying they’d rather be in prison, at least they get food and shelter there. First time I have a concrete example of it happening, though. This is from the south Wales Evening Post:

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A 62-year-old man has been jailed for robbing a bank in Cardiff after having his benefits stopped. Phillip Rees, of Pontcanna, Cardiff, claimed he was “too old to work” after his government handouts were taken away.

A court heard how Rees didn’t use a disguise or a weapon when he raided the Lloyds branch on Cowbridge Road in Canton.

He handed the cashier a note saying: “This is a robbery, don’t alert anyone, pass all the money from the till and don’t tell anyone until I’ve left.” Cardiff Crown Court heard how his face could clearly be seen on CCTV footage as he strolled out of the bank with £3,000.

Rees used his stolen money to travel to Barry Island, Newcastle, Whitley Bay, Carlisle and York before handing himself over to police.

Prosecutor Mike Hammett said: “His benefits had been stopped when his own doctor declared him fit to work but he didn’t agree because he felt he was too old. He told the police he just “lost patience with the whole shebang” and decided to rob a bank to finance “a little trip” instead. He had intended to rob another bank to continue his travels but decided he’d had enough of being on the run.”

Rees left a woman cashier terrified when he walked into the branch and handed over his demands in March this year.

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