A CUSTOMER caught up in a terrifying armed bank raid returned to his car to find that he had been given a parking ticket.

Fred Holt, aged 77, was inside Lloyds TSB, on Halliwell Road, Bolton, when two masked men brandishing an axe and a machete burst into the building.

During the raid an 18-year-old cashier was held hostage and an axe held to her throat. Customers were made to lie on the floor as bank staff were forced to hand over cash.

Mr Holt had parked his car nearby and, by the time he had given a statement to police officers, his car had been there for 20 minutes longer than allowed.

Mr Holt had been assured by police officers interviewing him that traffic wardens had been told about the raid and and asked not to issue tickets.

However, when Mr Holt, of Albert Road West, Heaton, returned to his car he found a penalty notice attached to the windscreen informing him that he faced a £30 fine for overstaying his allowed time in the street.

The former company director, said: "It was meant to be a quick visit to the bank to cash a cheque but I found myself caught up in this awful ordeal.

"We were told by police not to leave until we had given a statement and I was the last one to talk to them. Officers told me not to worry about getting a ticket because they had told wardens what had happened.

"I was furious when I saw the penalty notice on the windscreen. After what happened in the bank it was the last thing I needed."

Mr Holt is hoping to have the fine waived and says he has the support of one of the detectives investigating the raid, who offered to help get the ticket cancelled.

A Bolton Council spokesman said: "We would invite the individual to contact us with details of the ticket, incident and the name of the police officer. Then we will investigate the matter further.

"Due to the nature of shift patterns we are not yet able to comment on whether parking attendants were asked not to issue tickets during the incident."