Article from Daily Star, Thursday August 22nd 1996

Don’t be silly..that gun’s not real.
Go Away.

Picture of headline article showing Pam Mills and Star award Photograph of Daily Star article

Heroine Pam Mills ticked off a robber like a naughty boy when he tried to stick up a bank.

As he brandished what appeared to be a double-barrelled shotgun, she snapped: "Don't be silly — that's not a real gun. Just go away."

The raider fled — and yesterday Pam's courage earned her a Daily Star Gold Award and a police commendation.

Pam, 49, was paying in cash from a charity collection when robber Carl Barnes walked into Barclays bank at Burton Latimer, Northants.

He was on the run from jail, where he was serving six years for robbery after being branded a "danger to society" by a judge. Pam, a magistrate for 14 years, said yesterday: I was watching the cashier check the money when a gruff voice said: 'Give it to me"

"His gun looked like two pieces of tubing wrapped in a plastic bag. I told him: Don't be silly — that's not a real gun. Just go away.' I brushed him aside."

But the raider jabbed his "gun" towards her stomach. Said Pam: "This time it looked real. I thought my life was at risk. But again, I blurted out: 'Don't be so silly' and I knocked the gun up to the ceiling.

"I thought that if it went off, at least it wouldn't hit me. But he just turned round and walked off."

The gun turned out to be a fake, made from two metal pipes.

But Ted Crew, chief constable of Northamptonshire, said: "She could not be sure."

Barnes was later arrested and jailed for seven years after admitting trying to rob the bank.