Victims who were kidnapped during a foiled bank robbery have been praised for helping to put the man who took them behind bars.
Michael Dunphy - described by police as an 'international career criminal' - was jailed yesterday for 18 years, plus five years on licence, after being convicted of four counts of kidnap and two of attempted robbery.
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Sheffield Crown Court was told how after watching a Rotherham branch of Barclays for days, Dunphy and two accomplices, who have never been named, chose to strike on the morning of Tuesday, November 21, last year - a date when they believed there would be £500, 000 of cash at the bank.
Dunphy, dressed in a wig, fake beard and police jacket, watched a bank worker drop off her 16-year-old daughter at school before bundling her into a stolen Audi.
The mum also had her other daughter, aged seven, with her at the time and both were forced to stay in the back of the vehicle.
He then drove them to the branch of Barclays and two of the woman’s colleagues were also kidnapped before the group of women were ordered to open the safe.
But unbeknown to Dunphy the woman's elder daughter had heard her mum and sister screaming outside the school gates when they were being kidnapped and raised the alarm.
Police then contacted the victim, which alerted Dunphy that they were on their way. He fled the scene, dumped the stolen Audi outside a Wickersley church and drove back to Manchester in a cloned white panel van.
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Victim impact statements read out at Sheffield Crown Court helped to bring the 45-year-old, of Barton Road, Hyde, Manchester, to justice.
After the hearing, detective inspector Mark Monteiro, who led the investigation, praised the victims for their bravery.
He said: "Dunphy is a major player in the international organised criminal network and he is now behind bars thanks to our cross-border investigation with Greater Manchester Police.
“A combination of technology and communities coming together allowed our team of officers to put all the pieces of evidence needed in place to arrest him and bring him before the court.
“We must also commend the bravery of the victims involved who will have some comfort in the knowledge that Dunphy is now locked away.”
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A Barclays spokesperson said: “We are supportive of the police and their thorough investigation in this case and we are pleased with the outcome. We have no higher priority than the safety and security of our customers and staff and we will always work with the police to enable them to prosecute any criminal activity.”