Northampton bank worker and getaway driver jailed over conspiracy to steal £38,000 from elderly customer

Victim, 69, and wife left physically and mentally scarred by daylight robbery in town centre in 2017

Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 4:59 pm

A Northampton bank worker and a getaway driver were jailed for their roles in stealing £38,000 from an elderly customer today (Tuesday, May 18).

Soraya Parsi and Terrence Brown were sentenced to five and six years in prison respectively at Northampton Crown Court over the robbery of William Draper in 2017.

The pair, both 26, were found guilty of conspiracy to rob by a jury at the same court in March while the actual thief, Carl Townsend, was jailed for seven years in 2017 after pleading guilty.

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Soraya Parsi and Terrence Brown. Photos: Northamptonshire Police

His Honour Judge David Herbert told them: "Ms Parsi, you supplied the inside information but Brown and Townsend arranged the plans their roles - you are all equally culpable in my view."

The court heard that on September 26, 2017, Mr Draper gave Santander in Market Square 48 hours’ notice about his plan to withdraw the cash, which was inheritance money for his grandchildren.

Parsi, who worked at the branch, told 'seasoned criminals' Townsend, 39, and Brown, both previously of Northampton, when the 69-year-old customer would be in, the court heard.

Two days later at about 3pm, the victim made his way to the bank, with Parsi working at the time, to collect the money but as he left, Townsend began to follow him.

The court heard that then, in Guildhall Road, Townsend struck Mr Draper in the back of the head and stamped on him repeatedly telling him to give up the money.

But he only released the money when the robber reached into his pocket as if he was getting a weapon as he feared for his life, the court heard.

Brown, who had dropped Townsend off near the bank, was waiting close-by and picked up Townsend so they could escape quickly.

Judge Herbert told Parsi, of Grange Park: "The role you played was a very significant one - had it not been for you, this offence would had never taken place at all."

The court heard how Mr Draper still suffers flashbacks, panic attacks and nightmares while his leg has still not healed completed even four years later.

While his wife has lost her independence because of the psychological trauma of losing their nest egg, which has only recently been reimbursed.

Judge Herbert said: "This has had a profound effect on the couple, in particular since the money was for their grandchildren."

The court heard Parsi had been 'badgered' by Townsend for information about the bank's inner workings and felt overwhelmed by the control her abusive boyfriend had over her life even from prison.

She eventually told him about Mr Draper's withdrawal, despite her boyfriend warning her not to, but maintains she did not identify him to her co-conspirator, which the judge did not believe.

Parsi's defence lawyer said she was very sorry for the harm caused to the Drapers and the judge said she lied to the jury during her trial.

Her sentence was reduced from nine years partly because she unexpectedly found she was pregnant when she arrived at prison following the trial, as well as her previous good character and as she is her father's carer.

Brown's sentence will run consecutively to his current nine-year jail term for a series of commercial burglaries he committed while on bail for the robbery of Mr Draper.