South Yorkshire bank robbers jailed for 33 years

Michael Lydon
Michael Lydon
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Two men have been jailed for a total of 33 years for a 'frightening and violent' armed robbery at a South Yorkshire bank.

Michael Lydon, aged 53 and Paul Smith, 57, were involved in a raid at the Yorkshire Bank in Parkgate, Rotherham, last year.

Paul Smith

Paul Smith

At around 8.30am on Friday January 29, Lydon and Smith, who were both wearing balaclavas, entered the bank armed with a gun and a crowbar.

They threatened staff and demanded cash from the safe and cash machines.

One of the bank workers managed to activate a panic alarm which alerted the police.

When officers arrived, the robbers locked five members of staff in the bank’s vault and fled.

Lydon and Smith threatened police officers with a gun and ran off along Rawmarsh Hill and toward New Bear Road, dumping their bag of cash in a bush along the way.

They threatened a woman on Ashwood Road with the gun and tried to pull her from her car in a desperate bid to escape but she managed to drive off.

The pair then robbed a woman in Foundry Street in Parkgate - grabbing her from behind and taking the keys to her van.

They drove it at her as they made their getaway, leaving the woman with a fractured leg, foot and shoulder.

CCTV footage captured the men getting into another car after discarding the van in a nearby car park

Lydon, of Fair View, Cleethorpes, was jailed for a minimum of 20 years after being found guilty after a trial after denying involvement in the raid.

Smith, of The Coppice, Kimberworth, was sentenced to 13 years after admitting his part in the raid.

Both men were convicted of seven charges including two counts of robbery, attempt robbery, possession of an imitation firearm and causing injury by dangerous driving.

Detective Constable Chris Lewis said: “The lengthy jail terms reflect the serious nature of the crimes committed by these two dangerous individuals.

“Not only did they carry out a violent and frightening attack on innocent bank staff they also continued to carry out further violent robberies in their bid to escape which resulted in a female being seriously injured.

“They clearly believed that they were above the law but thanks to excellent police work and assistance from members of the public, we were able to capture these dangerous criminals.”

“These men were ruthless and violent in their attempts to steal money without regard for the staff who worked there.

“Their actions in trying to escape again showed their disregard for the victims who have all been subjected to terrifying experiences which will no doubt affect them for the rest of their lives.

“Prison sentences can never compensate for the ordeal that several victims suffered at the hands of these criminals however I hope it will go some way to reassure people that they are now in prison.