An armed robber accused of trying to break into a bank in Coulsdon has been given four life sentences.

Wayne Colligan was sentenced at the Old Bailey today after admitting bank robberies in Wanstead and Welwyn Garden City.

The earliest he will be eligible for parole is in seven years, eight months.

The 43-year-old pleaded not guilty to a further 10 offences, including an attempted break in at the Natwest in Brighton Road, Coulsdon, on October 31, 2012.

On this day a white Ford transit van with a wooden sleeper at the back reversed into the front doors of the bank.

The suspects failed to break down the door and drove away empty handed.

All the offences Colligan pleaded not guilty to were ordered to remain on file.

In his summing up Judge Nicholas Cooke described Colligan as “a dangerous career criminal”.