A man raided a Te Puke bank yesterday to get himself returned to jail, the Tauranga District Court heard this afternoon.
From the dock Craig Andrew Blair, 40, unemployed and of no fixed abode, promptly pleaded guilty to a charge of robbery.
"He is quite clear he did this because he was not coping financially and he wanted to go back to prison," lawyer Nicholas Dutch told Judge Thomas Ingram.
The judge remanded Blair in custody until January 21 for probation and psychological reports.
According to the police summary of facts, Blair entered the National Bank in Te Puke carrying a backpack about 1.30pm.
He took a deposit slip and wrote on the back of it: "I've got a gun in the bag. Give me the $ or I'll kill you."
A bank teller read the note when it was handed to her and then looked at Blair "bemused".
He glared back without flinching. She read the note again and reached for the cash drawer, at the same time activating the raid alarm.
Unaware that the alarm had been set off Blair waited for the money, the prosecution said.
The teller took $650 in $50 denominations from the cash drawer and handed it over.
Putting the money in his backpack, the robber left the bank, walked about 20 metres away and sat down on a park bench.
Police officers responding to the alarm noticed he matched the description given by bank staff and approached him.
Blair immediately pulled out the cash and handed it to the police.
A second man appeared in an adjoining Tauranga courtroom today for an unrelated bank robbery in Te Puke on Thursday.
Paul Kingsbury, 42, of Whakatane, was remanded in custody until December 22 on two charges of aggravated robbery.
He allegedly targeted a different Te Puke bank, the BNZ branch, two and a half hours earlier than Blair's hit.
Kingsbury was arrested early in the afternoon at Matata, between Te Puke and Whakatane. He was charged about the same time as the National Bank -- less than 200 metres from the BNZ in Te Puke's Jellicoe St -- was being robbed by Blair.
The Whakatane man allegedly used a rifle.
Kingsbury also faces a second aggravated robbery count -- another BNZ branch, at Greerton in Tauranga in September.