A boozy bank robber who was so drunk he couldn't remember holding up a branch of NatWest has been jailed.

Sozzled Stephen Cheshire staggered into the bank and pretended he had a gun in his pocket before threatening to "blow a cashier's brains out".

He fled with £140 in notes and blew the lot after putting it into a one-armed bandit machine in a local bookmakers.

Cheshire, 55, of Nuneaton, Warks., was jailed for three years after he admitted robbery at Warwick Crown Court.

Recorder Alastair Smith said: "The cashier believed you were carrying a firearm.

"Banks are a necessary public service, and staff must be protected from threats of violence."

The court heard Cheshire raided the NatWest bank in Market Place, Nuneaton, at midday on April 28 this year.

Sally Hancox, defending, said there was a very clear CCTV recording of the incident.

She said: "Although there was no sound on the recording, other bank staff heard 
Cheshire, with his hand in his pocket and pointing it towards the cashier, demanding: 'Hand over the f***ing money or I'll blow your brains out.'

"The bank employee behaved exceptionally calmly in the circumstances.

"He (Cheshire) has absolutely no individual recollection of that day.

"He can't remember attending the bank or behaving in the way shown, nor does he remember going straight to Ladbrokes and squandering the lot on a fixed-odd gambling machine."

The court heard police traced him by following CCTV from the bank and the street outside leading officers to the bookmakers.

When he was arrested, Cheshire told officers: "I'm a bank robber."

Miss Hancox described Cheshire as "a solitary man" with no friends other than those he drinks with in his local pub.