AN AMERICAN chaplain threatened to rob a Rosyth bank and then made racist comments towards an employee.

David Cole, 59, formerly a pastor in the United States, became irate when told he could not have a face-to-face appointment at his local TSB branch.

He ranted that he had walked two miles to get there when told he would have to go online to use the bank’s services.

Cole then said to the startled worker: “What if I pulled a knife out and robbed you and go inside the bank.”

Cole, who was once chaplain to his local fire department in the US, moved to Scotland several years ago and is currently on benefits.

Cole, of Park View Terrace, Inverkeithing, appeared in the dock at Dunfermline Sheriff Court clutching his bible.

He admitted previously that on May 27 last year, at TSB Bank, Queensferry Road, Rosyth, he acted in an aggressive manner towards an employee there, shouted, swore, made threats of violence and directed racial remarks towards him.

Depute fiscal Mat Piskorz said Cole became involved in a dispute with the TSB employee when told he would have to go online to access services as he did not have his bank card with him.

“He started to shout and swear, saying he had to walk two miles to get to the bank,” added the depute.

He was told he could not have a face-to-face consultation because of the COVID restrictions.

Cole then said: “What if I pulled a knife out and robbed you and go inside the bank?”

The depute said Cole looked at the worker’s name badge and made racial comments.

He said: “You’re from a poor country. You’re from India and that’s a poor country.”

The matter was reported to the police, who later arrested Cole. He commented to officers: “This is absurd”.

He added: “I shouted and lost my temper. It shouldn’t be a crime.”

Defence solicitor Alexander Flett said: “He became frustrated and he’s not exactly certain of what comments he made.”

He said his client was originally from the United States and planned to move back there.

He added that during his time in the States, his client was a volunteer chaplain for his local fire department.

Mr Flett went on: “He’s keen to stress that this is not the way he would normally behave. This was a very much a one-off incident borne out of frustration.”

The court was told Cole was currently on benefits and living in the home of his estranged wife, who plans to sell it soon.

Sheriff Charles Macnair told Cole: “These remarks were extremely offensive and would have caused much alarm to the employee who was doing his job.

He added that the comments about robbing the bank were “ridiculous” but would have been seen as a threat by the worker.

The sheriff went on: “Then you made remarks about India, which were offensive and were stereotyping of millions of people.

“It is indicative of racist values which will not be tolerated in this country.”

He fined Cole £160 and ordered him to pay £500 compensation to the bank worker.