Thursday, 18 February 2016

Elderly US man sentenced after turning to bank robbery during hard times

Roosevelt Gordon shown in FBI surveillance images during his only successful robbery, at left, and at right during his final botched robbery, after which he was arrested. (FBI)

A 75-year-old man has been sentenced after turning to bank robbery and being caught at nearby bus stops.
Roosevelt Gordon, 75, was described by his family as religious, hard-working and protective in letters read by US District Judge John Darrah, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Mr Darrah admitted he was swayed by the letters and sentenced Gordon to 12 months in prison.

Gordon is expected to be released shortly, as he has spent the past 22 months in custody.
"I'm embarrassed because my children, they've never seen their daddy like this," he said.
A sentencing memo written by Gordon’s attorney, Christina Farley Jackson, told of his 40-year truck-driving career.
The court heard he had lost his business in the most recent recession before becoming homeless, and was forced to live in a motel with his wife.
Before his first robbery, Gordon was given medication to treat anxiety and depression before later being diagnosed with a form of dementia, the court heard.
Unfortunately for Gordon, he was not the most effective bank robber.
His first, in September 2013, failed, with some bank tellers failing to take him seriously, even though he indicated he was armed.
Another robbery on the same day netted him $3721, but only after the teller asked him “Are you serious?”, the court heard.
Assured that he was, the teller handed over all the loose cash in the drawer, which Gordon has been ordered to repay.
Gordon was arrested as he waited for a bus after botching a third attempt the next month.
A judge gave him home detention, which he was allowed to leave for daily requirements such as church and shopping.
In March 2014, he attempted to rob two more banks, failing to leave either with any cash, before he was again arrested at a bus stop.
Officers found no weapon on him.         
One teller sought therapy after becoming nervous since the robbery, the court heard.
Gordon had dropped out of school at 15 to help support his family after they moved to Chicago from Helena in Arkansaw.
In prison he had a series of health issues, including needing a toe on his right foot amputated.
According to Jackson doctors, they instead amputated two toes from his left foot and he then contracted gangrene.
Ms Jackson said Gordon’s family didn’t know the extent of his issues until his arrest.




9news.com.au

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