A SELF-styled Robin Hood bank robber has won the first stage of an Appeal Court challenge to his jail term – after it emerged he has Asperger’s Syndrome.

Former University of Worcester student Stephen Jackley committed a string of armed bank raids and wrote notes about giving some of the stolen cash to charity.

He was jailed for 13 years at Worcester Crown Court in August 2009, after admitting five robberies, three attempted robberies, seven counts of having imitation firearms, burglary, attempted burglary and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. But he was yesterday given leave to appeal against his sentence by judges sitting at London’s Criminal Appeal Court, who said Asperger’s Syndrome may have affected his awareness of the consequences of his actions.

Jackley went on his crime spree in Worcester, Ledbury, in Herefordshire, and Devon between September 2007 and March 2008 while he was studying geography at the University of Worcester.

The offences in Worcester include two armed robberies at William Hill bookmakers, St John’s, and at Corals bookmakers, Trinity Street.

He also committed burglaries at the NSPCC shop, Broad Street, and at Barclays Bank, Malvern Road, St John’s.

The student terrified staff and customers by brandishing a gun while dressed up in a blonde wig and sunglasses.

He was caught after being arrested in the US state of Vermont for trying to buy a handgun using a false ID.

He was jailed for 10 months in the US, but later deported and charged with the offences committed in the UK.

Jackley, aged 26, of Manstone Avenue, Sidmouth, Devon, is challenging the length of his jail term, after a report by a psychiatrist in October last year revealed he would have been suffering from mild to moderate Asperger’s Syndrome when he committed his crimes.

Judge Clement Goldstone said the 13-year sentence would normally be justified for such a catalogue of crime, but that it should be reconsidered by the Appeal Court in light of the new evidence.

The judge, sitting with Lord Justice Elias and Mr Justice Eady, said: “On the basis of the evidence before the sentencing judge, a total sentence of 13 years was wholly appropriate and could not even arguably be the subject of a successful appeal.

“However, it seems his awareness of the consequences of his actions, and therefore his culpability, may have been significantly impaired.”