POLICE installed a security camera at a New Forest bank after walkers in the New Forest found their unattended cars had been targeted for credit cards.

Gambling addict Henry Willett smashed windows on three cars and loosened a window in a motor home to grab handbags containing cash and the cards that were quickly taken to the Lyndhurst bank where he withdrew more than £550.

The security measure paid off when Willett was captured on camera at the cashpoint machine, prosecutor Russell Pyne told Southampton Crown Court.

Willett, of Winston Close, Maybush, admitted four counts of theft and ten of fraud. Jailing him for two years, Judge Gary Burrell QC told him: “People who leave their cars at the beauty spots trust the honesty of the public. They are left upset, irritated and inconvenienced. They were vulnerable and that is no doubt why you preyed upon them.”

Angus Robertson, defending the jobless father-of-two, said Willett accepted responsibility for the inconvenience he had caused and apologised. He was caught in the grip of gambling but that did not excuse or justify his actions.