Bank robber thwarted by restaurant workers jailed for nine years Date published: 22nd January 2018 3.07pm

A BANK robber from Liverpool who was on the run has been jailed for nine years.

Christopher Bell, of Brodie Avenue, Allerton, was one of three men who robbed the Royal Bank of Scotland in Poynton on 29 April 2016.

They entered the bank through a hole they created in the roof and threatened staff with violence.

Staff were forced to open safes and tills and the robbers left the building with a large quantity of money.

They ran to a stolen car they had arrived in that was parked at the back of the bank, but staff at a nearby Indian restaurant stopped them from getting into the vehicle by attacking them with mop handles.

The robbers were forced to escape the scene on foot and two of them – Paul Hughes, 33, of no fixed address, and Sean McNeil, 26, formerly of Allerton Road, Woolton, Liverpool – were apprehended by police that day and were each jailed for 12 years in November 2016.

Bell handed himself into Knutsford Police Station on 21 July 2017.

The 29-year-old was sentenced at Chester Crown Court on Tuesday 16 January after pleading guilty to the bank robbery.

Detective Constable Stephen Joyce said: “Thankfully all three of the bank robbers are now behind bars and serving lengthy prison sentences.

“Robbery is a very serious crime and they subjected the staff at the bank to a terrifying and traumatic experience.

“I would like to thank the members of the public who helped us to apprehend the robbers.

“The restaurant staff showed incredible bravery in thwarting the robbers’ getaway and their efforts were key in bringing these men to justice.

“Christopher Bell tried to evade justice but it was only a matter of time before he was caught and he eventually decided to hand himself in.”