Knifeman who held up Portsmouth bank is jailed after begging to go to prison

Steven Wallis
Steven Wallis
Have your say

A MAN who held up a bank with a knife begged frightened staff to call the police so he could be jailed.

Steven Wallis, 27, has been jailed for two years after threatening staff in the Lloyds bank, in London Road, North End, with a blade in October. At his sentencing it was revealed his attack came after a drugs binge the night before and attempted suicide earlier that day.

Speaking at the hearing at Portsmouth Crown Court, prosecutor Simon Foster described how Wallis had been acting irrationally at the time of the attack.

He said: ‘The defendant bizarrely said: “I want you to call the police. I want to get arrested. There will be a bank robbery if they don’t come. I will hurt someone”.

‘He went on to say that he wanted to go to prison: “I need to get locked up”, he said.’

After Wallis’ arrest he lashed out at two police officers, punching and kicking them, causing minor injury.

However, defending Wallis, barrister Howard Barrington-Clark said his client had no recollection of the event.

Wallis had taken cannabis and cocaine and was feeling suicidal, he told the court.

He said on the day of the attack, Wallis, of no fixed abode, had taken a number of sleeping tablets in a bid to kill himself.

Mr Barrington-Clark told the court how the defendant had suffered ‘a breakdown of relationships’ after the death of his unborn baby, forcing him to turn to drugs.

He said: ‘It’s a classic case of not putting his head in the sand but his head in a bucket of drugs. This young man experienced emotional and physical turmoil.

‘He had reached the end of his tether and went about it totally inappropriately.’

He urged the judge to give a suspended sentence, saying Wallis had shown genuine remorse for his actions.

Judge Claudia Ackner gave credit for Wallis’ early guilty plea and his ‘genuine remorse’ but said ‘there was no excuse’ for what he did.

He was jailed for two years. He will serve half of this in prison and the rest on licence.