Carlton prison officer robbed his local bank to pay gambling debts
A PRISON officer has been given a suspended prison sentence after robbing his local bank.
Paul Goodson, 39, of Carlton, admitted taking £2,910 from the Lloyds TSB branch in Carlton Hill on Friday, December 16.
Nottingham Crown Court heard how Goodson entered the bank without any attempt to disguise his face, in an attempt to pay off £14,000 accrued through a gambling addiction.
He originally owed around £3,000, but this rose to £14,000 due to high interest loans, the court was told. Goodson hadn't told his partner or family about his debt.
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After entering the bank, he handed a note to the cashier, which read: "Stay calm, I am armed, fill these bags with cash. No harm will come to you if you follow these instructions."
Jim Metcalf, prosecuting, said: "The cashier took the threat to be genuine and filled the bags with cash from her till."
Goodson walked out of the building with the money. But his face was caught on CCTV cameras within the bank and stills of the pictures were circulated. He was recognised and arrested by Notts Police on January 31.
Goodson, who admitted robbery, was given a 12-month suspended prison sentence. In mitigation, Michael Evans said Goodson was "a polite and gentle man" with no previous convictions.
Mr Evans added: "He didn't tell anyone about his debts because he feared he would lose everyone. Rather than admit to his problem he took it all on himself."
Passing sentence, Judge Jonathan Teare described Goodson as "a man of positive, good character."
He added: "You made no effort to conceal your identity. You used that money to pay off substantial debts.
"Even in the back of the police car you admitted it as soon as you possibly could and apologised to the cashier for what you did to her."
A Prison Service spokeswoman confirmed the officer was suspended from his post on February 1.