Bank robbery suspect is wanted in UK
A MAN arrested in connection with an armed bank robbery in Blackrock, Co Dublin, in which staff and customers were threatened at gunpoint is wanted in Britain after escaping jail where he was serving 22 life sentences.
He was featured on the BBC’s Crimewatch television programme last Thursday, when the British public was asked to supply information on his whereabouts but was warned he was “dangerous”.
Derek Brockwell (51) was being questioned in Dublin last night about the robbery of €6,000 from the Bank of Ireland branch in Blackrock on Thursday afternoon.
A firearm, described as a handgun, was used to threaten staff and customers during the robbery at 3.50pm at the branch on Main Street. The raider then left the bank with money and tried to escape using a taxi. However, he was arrested after gardaí stopped the taxi on Merrion Road.
He was taken to Blackrock Garda station and was still being questioned there last night under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act. He can be detained without charge until tomorrow afternoon.
Brockwell, an Englishman, was jailed for life for a series of armed robberies in England.
He had 22 life sentences imposed on him to run concurrently.
He had carried out armed robberies on betting shops in London’s Marylebone and Paddington areas during September and October 1999.
Because he had so many previous convictions, his trial judge was obliged to impose life sentences.
However, when he was serving his sentence in Kirkham Prison in England, he failed to return to the jail after being released to work in Blackpool as part of a day-release programme.
The public appeal for information on his whereabouts featured on Crimewatch last week.
Police in Britain now want to speak to Brockwell in connection with an attempted robbery at a NatWest bank on St Annes Road West, Lytham St Annes, on February 28th.
Although nothing was taken and no one was hurt during the incident, officers in England warned he was considered to be “dangerous”.
Brockwell, who has links with London, Glasgow and the Republic of Ireland, was listed as a wanted man on the BBC’s Crimewatch programme on Thursday night.
A Lancashire police spokesman had said: “I would appeal to anyone who knows where Derek Brockwell is to come forward and contact the police immediately. If anyone has any information then I would appeal to them to get in touch. Even the smallest details could prove crucial as we try to locate him.”
During the robbery in Blackrock on Wednesday, no shots were fired and there were no injuries reported by any of the staff or customers who were present when the raider struck.