* FOR MORE SEE TOMORROW'S WORCESTER NEWS A FORMER Worcester University student to carried out a number of armed raids in the city has been jailed today.

Stephen Jackley was jailed at Worcester Crown Court for a total of 13 years after a series of armed bank roberies - and attempted robberies - in the city and elsewhere in the UK.

The 23-year-old pleaded guilty to 18 offences that took place in Worcester, Ledbury and Devon between September 7, 2007, and March 5, 2008.

They included five armed robberies, three attempted armed robberies, seven firearms offences in relation to the robberies, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, one attempted burglary of a bank and one burglary.

Senior Investigating Officer in the case, Detective Inspector Jim Fox, said: “The sentencing of Stephen Jackley today reflects the seriousness of his campaign of criminal activity over almost six months.

“I would like to make clear that Jackley’s crimes caused his victims a great deal of distress and that there is no evidence whatsoever to confirm his intentions were to give the proceeds of those crimes to ‘the poor’ despite the fact he claimed he was a ‘modern day Robin Hood’.

“Jackley is a dangerous man and the reality of his behaviour is a far cry from the self-styled character he depicted in his deluded diaries.

“His activity had no beneficiaries but himself, although in just one incident he delivered cash to a charity shop that he had damaged during his attempts to gain entry to an adjoining bank.

"He had also stolen items from that charity shop.”

DI Fox added: “We were made aware of Jackley when FBI officers –dealing with him for firearms offences including attempting to by a gun in America - recovered a diary from him which suggested he may have committed offences in the UK.

“We then conducted searches at his Worcester University residence and premises in London as Devon and Cornwall Constabulary searched his home address. Items were recovered that linked Jackley to numerous offences including replica guns, knives, balaclavas, demand notes, disguises and of course his written notes and diaries detailing his offending.

“This went on to become a complex case involving a number of forces and American authorities and requiring work under extradition, immigration and deportation laws.

"It lasted almost 18 months and involved officers from CID, intelligence as well as handwriting experts and forensic investigators."

As the lead force in the investigation, West Mercia Police began planning Jackley’s extradition from the USA but in the final days American authorities chose to deport him.

West Mercia officers then brought him under high security from Heathrow Airport in London, back to Worcester Police station.

DI Fox added: “The complexities of the case continued as we could not interview Jackley due to legal restrictions and had to prepare a file that proved every aspect of our case against him -down to handwriting analysis to prove the diaries were his and obtaining DNA and fingerprints from the USA.

"It was such a well-prepared case that we were confident of a guilty plea due to the overwhelming evidence.

“This was a unique case in that a student with no previous convictions not only carried out a string of international crimes but detailed those crimes in 100s of pages of journals and diaries.

“I hope that Jackley’s victims now feel reassured by the fact that he is no longer a risk to the public. He put them in fear for their own safety when they were simply going about their day to day work.

"I believe Jackley could have committed further offences if he had not been caught and brought to justice.”