The UK regional newspaper This is Croydon Today carried an amusing story of crooked ineptitude in an attempted theft of betting company monies this week.
Two bungling bandits, Simon Goskal and Darren Dellaway, backed a loser when they conspired with betting shop cashier Stuart Coleman to stage a robbery of GBP 1 400 in betting shop cash.
But after the pre-arranged ambush of Coleman in the street, the dumbass duo forgot to take the cash, fleeing with just the bank deposit book.
This left their insider co-conspirator Coleman in a comedic quandary….what to do with the cash, so he hid it under a bush before reporting the "robbery" to his bosses at William Hill.
Meanwhile, the thieves made their escape in a car belonging to the getaway driver's mum, which was quickly traced, landing all the parties involved in a court appearance where guilty pleas were entered.
Coleman and Goskal additionally pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice and obstructing police by making false statements.
Prosecutors revealed that Dellaway and Goskal, undeterred by the collapse of their plan, called in at the betting shop on the same day as their abortive “robbery”. Pretending concern at the fate of their “robbed” friend Coleman, they were really there to find out where he had stashed the cash.
The prosecution claimed: "[Coleman] maintained to both staff and the police that he had been a victim of robbery. He gave a detailed statement outlining his false allegations."
But that night police traced the registration number of the getaway car which was recorded by witnesses to Dellaway's home.
James Mason, defending Coleman, described the scam as "immature" and said his client was "deeply sorry and apologises".
He explained: "Without Coleman this couldn't have happened, he was clearly the prime mover and shaker but it wasn't particularly well thought out and the car was easily traceable.
Recorder Robert Blomfield jailed Coleman for four months after telling him that he regarded his role as the most serious.
He said: "You were in a position of considerable trust and that trust was breached in a most serious way."
The other three schemers received eight-week prison sentences, suspended for two years and were each ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.
They were also ordered to pay GBP 1 400 compensation to William Hill between them.