Bank robber avoids prison due to ‘impeccable grammar and courtesy’

There is outrage across social media this morning after a judge spared a career bank robber a jail term after praising the ‘very high quality’ of grammar the man had used in the handwritten demand he handed to an HSBC cashier.

Sentencing warehouse operative Gregory Powell, 29, to six months community service, Judge Montgomery Frome-Pelmentier said: ‘Although this was a well-planned robbery and you came armed with a shotgun, two hunting knives and a canister of pepper spray, I was most impressed with the polite and exceedingly well-written six page note you had prepared for the bank staff.

In particular, your gentle application of irony, spot-on use of the almost extinct semi-colon and the considerate manner in which you framed your threats using the future conditional tense were, I have to say, of a rare standard in this age of vulgar and illiterate texting. On top of this, you even had the courtesy to end your demand with a ‘thank you’. I hope that your writing will flourish.’

Mr Powell has thirteen previous convictions for GBH and armed robbery and successfully completed an English degree with the Open University during his last stay at Maidstone prison.

Outside Peterborough Crown Court he told Spoofflé: ‘Yes, I do appreciate that I’m very fortunate but if the cashier hadn’t taken fifteen minutes to read it, my little enterprise would have been successful.’