Banker held his boss hostage after job review

The case was heard at Preston Crown Court

The case was heard at Preston Crown Court

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A bank worker who tied up and threatened his boss after being told he was under-performing has been locked up for 20 months.

Ben Thompson, 24, from Chorley, filled a holdall with electric cable, a knife and an axe, before heading into work at the Halifax branch in Fishergate, Preston, to confront his boss Ian Grady.

Thompson had been undergoing disciplinary proceedings at the bank he had worked at for five years, after manager Ian Grady said “his mind was elsewhere”.

In a dramatic gesture – aimed at bringing about his admission into a mental hospital – the worker tied his boss to a chair, making the family man fear for his life.

The day before the incident, Thompson had spoken to a mental health nurse and been prescribed Diazepam, which he had not taken.

But sentencing him to prison, Judge Christopher Cornwall said: “You failed to convey the nature of all that was troubling you.”

At around 8.20am on November 1 last year, Thompson said he wanted a meeting with Mr Grady, and asked him to go upstairs.

Mr Grady, 41, did not suspect anything, but Thompson later told police he “wanted him to know it’s not right seeing your manager smiling when someone is relinquishing their job.”

Once inside a meeting room, Thompson pulled the knife out and ordered Mr Grady to get on the floor.

He tied his hands behind his back with cable tie, before ordering Mr Grady to clear the branch of staff.

Mr Grady tried to buy himself some time by saying he wanted to go to the toilet, but Thompson led him to the bathroom with a length of cable tied around his chest.

Back in the business area of the bank, Mr Grady was ordered to sit down while Thompson screwed two pieces of tubing together.

Thompson lit a cigarette and told Mr Grady: “This is the way it has to be – this is the only way people will listen to me. I begged them to keep me in.”

The court heard Mr Grady feared for his life, and thought his employee was going to torture him.

The terrified boss escaped after realising one of the ties binding his hands was loose.

Andrew English, defending, told the court Thompson had been “driven by his inner demons”. He said Thompson had feelings of depression and desperation at not being able to take time off work when he was feeling unwell.

The day before the incident he had spoken to a mental health nurse, and been prescribed Diazepam, which he had not taken. He had also spoken to Mr Grady and promised to call him back, but never returned the call.

Thompson, of Hornby Road, pleaded guilty to false imprisonment and two counts of possession of a bladed article.

Preston Crown Court heard Mr Grady was so traumatised by the events he has been unable to return to his branch, and was only able to return to another branch for 14 days before going off sick with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Judge Cornwall said; “There were many things you could have done, which would not have involved anyone else.

“It is clear from what you said to police that you deliberately targeted Mr Grady.”