A BANK robber stole £45,000 by blowing up an ATM but was arrested after using dozens of Scottish notes to pay in cash for a luxury holiday.

Russell Snowdon joined an accomplice to blow up a cash machine at the RBS branch in the Dumfriesshire town of Langholm last November.

A stolen Land Rover was used as a getaway vehicle and a nearby resident captured an image of the car on his iPad shortly before it left the scene.

A judge heard how Snowdon later paid almost £1,700 in cash for a two-week trip to Gambia in Africa with his partner.

When staff at the English-based travel agent remarked the bank notes were all Scottish, the 42-year-old claimed he had just sold a car there. But, Snowdon was later caught for the robbery and held shortly after he arrived back in the UK from his holiday.

It emerged yesterday he is already a convicted killer, having been jailed for manslaughter in 2001.

He now faces a further jail term after he pled guilty to a number of charges, including stealing £45,080 from the RBS.

Snowdon, who latterly lived in Crook, County Durham, will be sentenced later this month.

The High Court in Glasgow heard how residents were awoken by a loud bang about 1.40am on November 11 last year.

One mother and daughter, who lived above the bank, initially thought there had been a car accident.

Instead, CCTV played in court showed an explosion had occurred at the RBS building, with the ATM being blasted open.

A figure was then seen climbing through a broken window, removing bundles of cash and handing it to his accomplice outside.

Prosecutor Tim Niven Smith said it was less than two minutes from the explosion to the robber inside the RBS leaving.

Police were soon on the scene and it emerged a stolen Land Rover had been used in the raid.

The court heard a resident had tried to record what had happened on his tablet device.

Mr Niven Smith: “He attempted to film what was occurring on his iPad. He was able to film the registration of the Land Rover.”

The vehicle was later discovered burnt out with gas canisters nearby.

Snowdon later came under suspicion and it emerged he had left the country days after the robbery.

The court heard he was “enjoying a holiday” in Gambia with his partner having only booked the trip on November 14. He paid £1,663 in cash for a two-week trip.

Mr Niven Smith said: “The travel agent had made a remark about the Scottish notes being unusual and Snowdon said he had sold a car in Scotland recently.”

He was later held at Manchester Airport on his return on December 3.

It also emerged his DNA linked him to a lighter, screwdriver and blood spot found at the bank.

The court was told the blast was caused by the “ignition of a flammable gas and air mixture”. It was said the front of the ATM was likely prised open with a screwdriver before a tube was inserted allowing “compressed gases from cylinders” to cause an explosion.

A total of £8,950 of the stolen cash was recovered having been left at the scene.

Snowdon was remanded in custody prior to sentencing.

In 2001, he was jailed for two years for the manslaughter of a grandfather. He hit Terry Raisbeck at a bus-stop in Durham, fracturing his jaw and sending him crashing to the ground. Mr Raisbeck suffered head injuries and died later the same day in hospital.

HeraldScotland | Crime & Courts

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