'You are so obsessed that you can no longer see reason...'
A TAMWORTH man with an "obsessive" grudge against Barclays Bank pelted one of their branches with paint and sent them a threatening letter, an appeal judge heard.
Father-of-three Alan Price blamed the bank for the collapse of his business after he was taken seriously ill.
The 55-year-old took out a civil action and complained to the banking ombudsman, but when his claims were rejected he turned to illegal actions.
Mr Robert Price, prosecuting, said Price threw paint-filled egg shells at Barclays in Colmore Row, Birmingham.
This voucher entitles you to 25% of any of our Nottingham Photography Courses:
One Day intro to DSLR Photography
Portrait and Studio
Evening City Photography
Terms: You can only use the one voucher per course. You cannot use this voucher in conjunction with any other offer.
Contact: 01159 078634
Valid until: Tuesday, December 31 2013
In July last year he sent a "malicious communication" to the bank.
"The letter was littered with foul language, it contained a threat that he was going to set fire to himself inside one of the branches of Barclays if his civil claim was not settled.
"Having sent that letter, he disappeared from home for ten days. Police took the suicide threat seriously and officers from two forces were involved in trying to locate him," said Mr Robert Price.
Price, of Cromwell Road, was given a community order with supervision by Birmingham magistrates for the offences of criminal damage and sending the letter.
But after breaching the order, he was re-sentenced by the bench last week to six weeks' imprisonment.
His appeal against his jailing was heard by Stafford Crown Court last Thursday (March 23) after he had spent six days in custody.
Judge John Maxwell ruled the sentence should be suspended for two years and curfewed the defendant for three months.
But the judge told him: "You have a grievance against the bank.
"You have pursued it with civil litigation and to the Ombudsman and you have failed to make any progress by legal means – you have resorted to illegal means. You are so obsessed that you can no longer see reason.
"We think the magistrates were absolutely right, but the situation is different now.
"If we dismiss this appeal you'll serve another fortnight and you'll be out. We feel your grievance will be even stronger.
"This order is an encouragement to lay it to rest, to accept you can't win against the bank."
The court heard that Barclays had taken out a civil injunction against Price.
Miss Laura Hobson, defending, said her client had a successful business until he was taken gravely ill in 2004.
He recovered after many operations. He disputed claims from Barclays that he had defaulted on loans, his business stopped trading and he became reliant on incapacity benefit.