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Judicial CP - October 1931

Illustrated Police News, London, 29 October 1931

Birch and Gaol for Bank Bandit.

One-Man Banks Condemned.

"I hope that this bank and other banks will see that it is not right to leave only one man in charge of the responsibility of a branch."

This was the comment of Sir Ernest Wild, K.C., the Recorder, at the Old Bailey, in dealing with John Adams, twenty-four, described as a traveller, whose real name was given as Maurice Penny Jones, of Treorchy, Glamorganshire, who pleaded guilty to a charge of robbery with violence upon Edwin Cyril Cooper, clerk in charge of a branch of Barclays Bank at Hayes End, Middlesex, and to stealing £44.10s.

Detective-sergeant Risebro told the Recorder that the man had hitherto borne an excellent character. He lost his employment through depression in trade, and appeared to be down and out at the time of the robbery.

It was stated that Adams presented a pistol at Mr. Cooper and after a struggle got away with the money, but was caught. On him were found some chloroform and a syringe loaded with pepper. He also carried a false moustache.

For Adams, it was stated that a film, "The Man They Could Not Arrest", inspired him to rob the bank.

The Recorder observed that robbery with violence was one of the worst felonies known to the law, and it could be punished with penal servitude for life and a whipping.

"Judges are determined not to allow hold-ups to be imported into this country," he declared. "Law and order, particularly at this time, must be maintained with the full force of authority."

The Recorder added that it was perfectly clear that Adams had made elaborate preparations to emulate "The Man They Could Not Arrest." It was to the credit of Mr. Cooper that he behaved with great courage.

He sentenced Adams to eight months in the second division, and ordered him to receive eighteen strokes with the birch rod.

Mr. Cooper, in recognition of his courage, would be awarded £5 from the public fund, while Mr. Frank Walden, of Hughenden-road, High Wycombe, who chased and caught Adams, would receive £3.

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