Jury to reach verdict in bank robbery trial

By Dave Doyle | 27/07/2017

Jury to reach verdict in bank robbery trial
The scene of the robbery in January 2016

JURORS will retire today to consider their verdicts against an alleged armed bank robber.

Michael Lydon (53), of Fairview Avenue, Cleethorpes, denies taking part in the gun heist last January 29, when £126,000 was stolen from Yorkshire Bank in Parkgate.

Two men in high visibility vests fled on foot, threatening police with a fake gun and trying to rob two women of their cars. They ran over Kerry Leary, fracturing both her ankle and shoulder.

Police recovered a bag containing the money and another one containing clothes and burglars’ tools, some with traces of Lydon's DNA.

They were led to the pair’s getaway driver -- Jason Heppenstall (28), of Langdon Walk in Kimberworth Park -- after staff at Wilson’s Carpets noted the number plate.

Heppenstall admits being involved in the planning and escape and is due to be sentenced after Lydon’s trial.

Paul Smith, (left, 55), of the Coppice, Kimberworth Park, has admitted being the other masked bank raider.

Heppenstall made no comment in a police interview but fingered Lydon after allegedly getting death threats from him.

He told officers Lydon had been the gun-wielder and had threatened afterwards to have him killed, if he co-operated with police.

Heppenstall was put in witness protection and Lydon arrested. He too made no comment at interview.

Prosecutor Mr Timothy Capstick said this indicated his guilt, but Mr Ian Goldsack, defending, said Lydon's silence stemmed from mistrust of the police.

Jurors heard that he had several past convictions and was given 18 years in prison for another bank robbery, committed in 2000.

Mr Goldsack said Smith had approached Lydon through Heppenstall for the Parkgate job, but that his client had declined to take part.

Lydon told police he had been in Cleethorpes getting his hair cut on the day of the heist.

He said Smith had taken a hold-all full of work clothes from his home, which was why his DNA was later found.

Mr Goldsack added that Lydon's DNA was not found on either of the stolen cars, despite Heppenstall’s claims that the defendant had run over Ms Uttley.

The barrister said Lydon had been dragged into the investigation by the admitted bank robbers, because of his past association with the crime.

He told jurors: “There is no dispute by the defendant that these things occurred. The issue is whether the prosecution has proved that the defendant was the second man.”

Lydon denies two counts of robbery, two of possession of an imitation firearm and one each of making use of an imitation firearm with intent, attempted robbery and causing serious injury by dangerous driving.


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