Dublin raid suspect is UK fugitive

Fri, Oct 5, 2012, 01:00

A man arrested in connection with a bank robbery in Blackrock, south Dublin, yesterday evening is wanted in Britain after escaping jail where he was serving a life sentence.

One of Britain's most wanted men, Derek Brockwell (51) was featured in the BBC’s Crimewatch television programme last Thursday, when the British public was asked to supply information on his whereabouts but warned that he is “dangerous”.

Brockwell is currently being questioned in Dublin about the robbery of €6,000 from the Bank of Ireland branch in Blackrock yesterday 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.

Brockwell left the bank with money and tried to escape using a taxi. He was arrested after gardaí stopped the taxi on Merrion Road. He was taken to Blackrock Garda station and is being questioned there this afternoon under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act.

Brockwell, an Englishman, is a prolific criminal who was jailed for life for a series of armed robberies in England and had 22 life sentences to run concurrently imposed on him. He carried out armed robberies on betting shops in London's Marylebone and Paddington areas during September and October 2009, deliberately selecting target shops with female cashiers. 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.

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.

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. Although nothing was taken and no-one was hurt during the incident, officers in England warned he is considered to be “dangerous”.

A Lancashire Police spokesman 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.”