47-year-old Andrew Fernandez has been jailed for life today for armed robbery at the Brighton Road Lloyds Bank in Coulsdon, Croydon in November last year.
Fernandez was arrested by police after being stopped by bank customer James Rowley who spotted the firearm was an imitation. Rowley has since been awarded a national police bravery award.
Fernandez had approached the cashier, wearing a motorcycle helmet and demanded she hand over cash to him, whilst threatening her with what appeared to be a hand gun.
It was then that 34-year-old James Rowley confronted Fernandez, having spotted that the gun was a fake and told him that he should leave. Fernandez continued to make further threats and demands to the cashier. Mr. Rowley challenged Fernandez again, at which point, he fled.
Fernandez attempted to make a getaway on a push-bike, but was followed out of the bank by Mr. Rowley, who, with the assistance of his friend who was waiting in his van nearby, was able to catch and detain Fernandez until the police arrived.