Two jailed for failed Wirral bank robbery

Two young Merseyside men involved in a plot to rob a Group 4 Security guard outside a bank in Eastham were today (Fri) put behind bars.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that the gang aborted the plan at the last minute but passers-by had become suspicious because of their inappropriate clothing on a warm day and alerted the police.

Lewis Audley, 25, of Woodhurst Crescent, Dovecot, was jailed for two and a half years and Kayne Jones, of Mandeville Street, Walton received a total of 38 months.

20-year-old Jones was sentenced to 32 months for the robbery conspiracy and six months consecutive for a garage burglary in Ormskirk just over two weeks earlier during which two off road motorcycle were stolen.

Jailing them Judge Adrian Lyon said, "This was a conspiracy to commit a robbery and a pre-planned one. It was aborted, there was no violence, no weapon and you pleaded guilty."

Teresa Loftus, prosecuting, said that about 11 am on June 22 a silver Renault Laguna was seen in tandem with a dark blue Ford Fiesta entering the Birkenhead tunnel.

"Around midday witnesses in Eastham noticed two men acting suspiciously . It was a warm summer's day and they were wearing heavy dark clothing and sitting in the Ford Fiesta wearing jackets and gloves," she said.

They had previously been seen in Glenburn Avenue getting out of the Laguna and moving to the Ford Fiesta. "They attracted attention because they were putting hoods on on this warm summer's day."

A short time later witnesses saw them parked on Eastham Rake close to the NatWest bank, Audley was the passenger and Jones the driver. "They jumped out, placed their hoods on and shouted, 'go,go' and ran towards the bank where Group 4 Security guards were unloading money for the bank.

"However for reasons which the Crown is unable to say the two males aborted this robbery and they ran off in opposite directions," said Miss Loftus.

Audley ran into a betting shop where he tried to blend in with the customers though looking out to see what was going on. Jones,  Mandeville Street, Walton, ran into the nearby library and asked to use the internet, giving his name and address.

He asked to use the toilet and was given the key but first looked outside and on seeing the police went to the toilet, where he was arrested. Lewis had moved to Tesco's where he was arrested.

The Fiesta had been left with the keys in the ignition for a quick getaway and in the rear was a bin half full of water. Miss Loftus explained this was a method employed to minimise the effects of the dye emitted from cash containers.

"It was an old fashioned method, known to be out of date, and would not have worked had they continued with this criminal enterprise," she said.

Stephen McNally, defending, said that Jones, who has previous convictions, had been pressurised by others more criminal sophisticated to become involved.

"He feels a sense of injustice that those instrumental are not in the position he is today."

The security guards had been unaware that they were about to be robbed, he added.

Michael Scholes, defending, said that Audley has been recalled to prison to finish a seven year sentence imposed in 2006 and is not due for release until January 2013.