A ROBBER held a bank employee in a headlock while he was armed with a ‘gun’ as he demanded cash from the till.

Jason Ryan Mark Jarvis targeted TSB in Old Christchurch Road, Bournemouth, with a toy pistol wrapped in black gaffer tape just five days after he had robbed nearby Barclays.

The female member of staff who was grabbed by Jarvis spoke of the psychological trauma she continues to suffer 17 months after the incident, which took place in December 2019.

Jarvis, 49, has admitted charges of robbery, having an imitation firearm with intent to commit an offence and attempted theft.

At a hearing at Bournemouth Crown Court yesterday, prosecutor Simon Jones said the defendant entered TSB shortly after 2pm when there was a man and a woman working on December 18, 2019.

Dorset Echo: The scene at TSB after the robberyThe scene at TSB after the robbery

Jarvis approached the counter with a scarf over his mouth and nose and presented a note to the male bank employee which said: “This is an armed robbery. I have a gun. Give me all the notes or I will shoot. Do not raise the alarm until I am gone.”

The staff member thought it was some kind of joke, but the defendant said: “I will show you how serious I am.”

Mr Jones said the defendant then grabbed the female staff member, who was stood nearby, and put her in a headlock.


Dorset Echo: The toy pistol wrapped in gaffer tape that was used by Jason Jarvis to rob to banks in Bournemouth. Picture: CPS

CCTV from the bank played in court showed the gun being held in front of the woman’s chest while Jarvis leaned forward to take £590 from the till which had been opened.

The court heard he then fled the scene, but police were called to the Mary Shelley pub nearby later that day to a report that a puffer jacket, sunglasses and the imitation firearm had been discovered in a bin in the men’s toilets.

Footage from the pub showed Jarvis leaving the premises in different clothes to the ones he entered in.

He was arrested the next day but denied any offending, answering mostly no comment.

Five days earlier, on December 13, he had tried to steal a charity collection tin from the post office in Winton but a member of staff retrieved the tin before he could leave the scene.

Jarvis went into Bournemouth town centre and with a scarf across his face he went straight to the counter in Barclays with a note.

On this occasion the female bank worker could only read: “This is an armed.”

She looked up and saw the defendant take an object from his pocket, which she thought was a gun.

Dorset Echo: Barclays in Old Christchurch RoadBarclays in Old Christchurch Road

Jarvis demanded all the money in the till, but the quick-thinking employee handed him largely dummy notes. The court heard he made off with around £40 to £80.

Mr Jones said Jarvis has 32 previous convictions for 131 offences, including robberies involving imitation firearms and the presentation of a note to staff.

The defendant indicted guilty pleas when he appeared at the magistrates’ court and he formally entered these pleas at his first crown court hearing last month.

Mitigating, Ellie Fargin said it is her client’s belief that if he had been medicated properly at the time of the robberies 17 months ago, the crimes would never have been committed.

She said he suffers from epilepsy as well as other conditions. He has suffered three heart attacks since being remanded in custody, with the most recent taking place on Wednesday.

The barrister said the defendant was “extremely remorseful” to the female TSB worker and he “understands how frightened she must have been”.

Judge Robert Pawson adjourned sentencing until Wednesday, June 2, with the case due to be heard at Winchester Crown Court.

This decision was made so the judge can fully consider the relevant law in relation to the sentencing exercise as a result of the offences and the defendant’s previous convictions.