Beds, Herts & Bucks

Bedford bank robber who was covered in red dye jailed

Image caption The dye cloud billowed out behind Brown as he left the Banker's Draft pub

A bank robber who was covered in red dye when a security device protecting a wad of cash exploded has been jailed for eight years.

Matthew Brown, 45, from Kimbolton Road, Bedford, pleaded guilty to robbing the NatWest bank in Bedford High Street at knifepoint on 2 February.

He was arrested after CCTV images of him covered with the dye were released, Luton Crown Court heard.

Brown also admitted falsely imprisoning a customer at the bank.

John Sweby, a retired teacher, had been standing in a queue.

The court heard that a cashier at the bank handed over a small amount of cash in a security dye pack.

After leaving bank with the money, Brown walked down the road to his local pub - the Banker's Draft - but the dye pack exploded, leaving red smoke billowing behind him as he left.

Police issued the CCTV images of Brown leaving the pub to the media, and two days later he was arrested.

Passing sentence, Judge Richard Foster told him the robbery had been pre-meditated.

Hearing how the dye pack had exploded over him, the judge said: "Not surprisingly you were apprehended."

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