A BUILDING society robber who leapt over the counter to snatch £500 from the till has been jailed for three years and nine months.

Ben Green was “off his head” when he targeted the Keighley branch of Skipton Building Society in Cavendish Street just after midday on January 14.

Green, 32, who had committed 76 previous offences, threatened vulnerable staff members at the “open and welcoming” office that did not have security screens, Bradford Crown Court heard today.

Green, of Stephenson Drive, Silsden, was sentenced on a video link to HMP Hull where he was recalled on licence after being released in September from a three-year prison term for burglary and theft from the person.

Prosecutor Paul Nicholson said Green walked to the back of the banking floor, shook a computer monitor and shouted: “Give me the f***ing money.”

He tried to climb over the banking desk but ended up falling on to the other side.

Green then repeated his demand for money and walked towards a female staff member, pushing his chest out in an intimidating manner.

He continued shouting and pacing about until she opened the till drawer and he dived his hand inside to seize around £500 in banknotes.

Green had a black bag with him to stuff the cash in, Mr Nicholson said.

He climbed back over the counter, falling again, before fleeing on foot through the town centre.

He was chased by the police to the railway station, throwing away the bag of money on the way.

Mr Nicholson said Green was on prison licence at the time and had a hood pulled round his face to hide his identity.

He had 32 previous convictions for 76 offences, including 27 for matters of theft and dishonesty. He also had aggravated vehicle taking and battery on his record.

His solicitor advocate, Julian White, conceded that Skipton Building Society was “a friendly set up” with no security screens.

Green was under the influence of alcohol and spent two minutes behind the counter.

He made “no comment” replies to the police but pleaded guilty to robbery at his first appearance at the crown court.

“When he is sober, he is a deferential, respectful, polite individual,” Mr White said.

Use of drugs and alcohol, coupled with his personality problems, led him to commit offences.

“This is crass. It’s in the middle of the street, in the middle of the day,” Mr White said.

Green hid his face under his jacket and ran off in broad daylight with his bag of cash.

He had “gone off the rails” recently, self-harming and making an attempt at suicide.

“He wants to go back to prison because life is so shocking for him,” Mr White said.

The Recorder of Bradford, Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC, said Green was “clearly off his head” when he robbed one of the area’s prominent financial institutions.

“It was sustained and shocking behaviour and under the influence of something very frightening,” he added.