Lecturer robs bank at gunpoint
FEMALE LECTURER from Bournemouth University has been charged for robbery and conspiracy after robbing the HSBC branch of £4000 in Lansdowne, Bournemouth.
On Thursday 18th November the robber, identified as Georgina Pane, entered the HSBC branch in the morning. She pulled out a gun accompanied by a large package alleged to be a bomb. She warned the cashiers not to raise an alarm otherwise they ‘won’t know how they died.’
Ms. Pane made the cashiers place the £4000 onto the counter which she then placed into her bag before departing.
When leaving the bank she told them she would ‘blow them sky-high’ if they raised the alarm before she could get away. She informed them she could trigger the bomb from a distance by remote. It was later discovered the bomb, consisting of metal parts and sand within a cardboard box was fake, as was the gun.
Ms. Pane was later found after crashing her car in Ringwood in the afternoon. She was unharmed from the accident.
Dorset Police didn’t realise Ms. Pane was the bank robber until she had been admitted into the Royal Bournemouth Hospital to be treated for shock. Inspector Nicola Cooper arrested her personally. She said Ms. Pane appeared bewildered and lost as if in a trance after the accident but she willingly stepped into the ambulance.
Daniel Jackson, an eyewitness to the robbery and also a PhD student at Bournemouth University, said that Ms. Pane was not herself. “She kept looking around and checking her handbag. She was very nervous.” He also said that when she pulled the gun out of her bag she was shaking. He was afraid she might accidentally shoot someone.
James Puis, another PhD student and also a colleague of Georgina Pane at the University, saw her before the robbery. He said she barely recognised him. He also stated that “this is not the Georgina I know. There has to be some explanation.”
Puis also stated that Ms. Pane appeared ‘agitated and not quite there’. He had never seen her like that before.
Bournemouth University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Gill Slammer was only prepared to say that the robbery showed no reflection on the staff at the University.
After Ms. Pane left court and was remanded to police custody she declared “I was not even there! This is a conspiracy.”
The £4000 stolen during the robbery was recovered and returned to the bank. HSBC regional manager David Brood said he was glad no one was hurt and the robbery foiled.
Inspector Cooper said that this was the 18th bank robbery this year in Bournemouth. Last year there were 16 robberies recorded. Brood doesn’t believe that this incident is due to a lack in security. He stated that the security at his bank informed the police within seconds of the attempt but he could not give a detailed explanation as it would ‘compromise security’. However, evidence shows that Ms. Pane was only caught due to fault of her own by crashing her car into a telephone booth.