A 'callous, career criminal,' who dressed as a police officer and kidnapped a mum and her daughter in a bid to rob a South Yorkshire bank, is now facing a lengthy prison sentence after being found guilty of a string of charges.
Michael Dunphy, 45, was convicted of four counts of kidnap and two counts of attempted robbery today, following a two week trial at Sheffield Crown Court.
He is due to be sentenced for the offences tomorrow.
Throughout the course of the trial, jurors were told how Dunphy bundled a bank worker into a stolen Audi after she dropped one of her daughters off at school at around 8am on November 21 last year.
The bank worker, whose younger daughter was with her at the time, was then driven to Barclays Bank in Herringthorpe Valley Road, where Dunphy – dressed in a wig and beard as a disguise - threatened two other members of staff and forced them to start the time-delay on the safe.
But having heard her mum and sister screaming, the elder daughter alerted her school and the police. They then contacted the victim, alerting Dunphy that the police were on their way.
The 45-year-old fled the scene, dumped the stolen Audi outside a Wickersley church, before driving back to Manchester in a cloned white panel van.
Leading the investigation, Detective Inspector Mark Monteiro, said: “Dunphy has a history of serious organised crime and showed no remorse whatsoever for putting his victims through a terrifying ordeal.
“The bravery shown by the victim’s daughter in raising the alarm after seeing her mum and sister being forced into a car is highly commendable.
“Thanks to her quick-thinking, officers were able to foil the plot to rob the bank and ensure the safety of all the staff and the child involved.
“We cannot underestimate how frightening this would have been for any adult, never mind a child who was threatened with harm, if they did not do as they were told."
Immediately after the incident, officers began a detailed cross-border investigation to trace those involved in the ‘Tiger’ kidnap which has not been seen in South Yorkshire for more than 20 years.
Using automatic number plate registration technology, CCTV and witness statements, detectives were able to identify four vehicles used before, during and after the attempt robbery – two of which were stolen.
The evidence led them to Manchester, where working closely alongside Greater Manchester Police, they were able to develop key lines of enquiry and locate Dunphy and arrest him on November 23 on suspicion of kidnap and attempted robbery.
DI Monteiro added: “The small team of officers working on this case did an excellent job collating the evidence and mapping Dunphy’s phone to match his movements and the movements of the four linked vehicles.
“When Dunphy was arrested, two days after the attempted robbery, officers recovered two of the vehicles involved in the robbery as well as the wig and Nike trainers he is seen to be wearing in CCTV from the bank.
“Thanks to information provided by members of the public, mapping the movements of four vehicles and forensic evidence, we were able to show Dunphy to be the offender in question, despite him continually denying the offence.
“It is thanks to the bravery of the victims and the hard-work of our officers working closely with the CPS to build a strong evidential case that he is facing a long time behind bars.
“I am pleased that Dunphy has been shown to be the callous, criminal that he is.”
Barton Road, Hyde, Manchester – who has previous convictions for manslaughter, kidnap and drug offences –