Bank forger avoids prison

A man who stole £27,000 from four Norfolk branches of Lloyds TSB bank yesterday escaped a prison sentence. Martin Toms, 43, had previously admitted two offences of obtaining property by deception and had asked for three further offences to be taken into consideration.

A man who stole £27,000 from four Norfolk branches of Lloyds TSB bank yesterday escaped a prison sentence.

Martin Toms, 43, had previously admitted two offences of obtaining property by deception and had asked for three further offences to be taken into consideration.

He also admitted forging a withdrawal slip and using a false passport.

He appeared before Peterborough Crown Court yesterday for sentence, where Judge Nicholas Coleman handed down an 18-month community rehabilitation order and a 12-month drug treatment-testing programme.

A previous hearing at Norwich Crown Court heard that Toms had gone to the branches in Attleborough, Watton and Fakenham on different occasions and withdrawn money in amounts ranging from £2,000 and £7,000.

He produced a doctored passport with a photo himself claiming to be an Anthony Gibson.

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Toms of Southsea, Hampshire was captured on CCTV and identified by officers from two London police forces.

At a previous hearing Judge Coleman had said Toms could avoid going to prison if he could get over his drug addiction.