Man jailed for 18-years for kidnapping women and girl in foiled plot to steal £500k from South Yorkshire bank

A 'greedy' career criminal who kidnapped three bank workers and a seven-year-old girl in a foiled plot to steal half a million pounds from a South Yorkshire bank has been jailed for 18-years.

Michael Dunphy has been jailed for 18-years for offences of kidnap and attempted robbery
Michael Dunphy has been jailed for 18-years for offences of kidnap and attempted robbery

Michael Dunphy remained silent as he was escorted out of Sheffield Crown Court to begin an 18-year sentence, with an extended license period of five years, for four counts of kidnap and two of attempted robbery.

Passing sentence, Judge Robert Bartfield told Dunphy he believed had carried out the offences out of ‘sheer greed’.

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The 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, 2017 - a date when they believed there would be £500,000 of cash at the bank.

After watching a bank worker drop her 16-year-old daughter off at school, Dunphy, dressed in a wig, fake beard and police jacket, bundled the woman into a stolen Audi - not realising that her seven-year-old daughter was present in the back of the vehicle.

“To kidnap a mother and child like you did, shows a level of determination that goes way beyond that of a normal individual, or even that of a normal criminal,” Judge Bartfield told Dunphy.

The woman’s child joined her mother in the back of the stolen vehicle, which was then driven 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.

The court heard how after being dropped off near her school, the woman’s teenage daughter happened to look back at her mother’s car just in time to see her mother being forced into an unknown vehicle, prompting her to call the police.

Judge Bartfield said: “You had not known it would take 10 minutes for the safe to be opened, and realised that the police had become aware and asked to be let out of the bank, which they did, and left.”

Dunphy, of Barton Road, Hyde, Manchester and his accomplices then abandoned the stolen vehicle, got into a van and were taken to a cottage Dunphy had been staying at in Braithwell.

He was only apprehended after his neighbour observed him taking cloned license plates off his leased Audi vehicle, and called the police.

Dunphy, who has previous convictions for kidnap and manslaughter, was found guilty of the six offences following a two-week trial at Sheffield Crown Court.

Through victim impact statements, the court was told how the incident had a profound and ongoing impact on the lives of the three bank workers and two girls involved in the incident.

"The mother says her principle feelings were of anger and hate, and said she had no words to describe what she felt towards someone who carried out these acts out of sheer greed," said Judge Bartfield, adding that he too believed Dunphy had acted out of 'sheer greed'.

He continued: "As you were to say later on, you had gone too early. I accept that you believed by then that she had dropped off both daughters, but after realising there was a mother and a daughter you should have stopped and called it off, but you didn't."

David Mason QC, defending, told the court that while Dunphy has a substantial criminal record, he only has one previous conviction for violence.

He said: "These offences, as grave and unattractive as they were, there were no acts of actual violence, apart from throwing the bank worker into the back of the car.

"The evidence from the victims is that they were treated with considerations, and in some instances, with sympathy."