VIDEO: Royston robber known as the ‘skull cracker’ sentenced to life in prison

PUBLISHED: 09:21 30 May 2014 | UPDATED: 10:07 30 May 2014

Michael Wheatly was sentenced to life imprisonment yesterday (Thursday)

Michael Wheatly was sentenced to life imprisonment yesterday (Thursday)

Archant

A 55-year-old man known as the skull cracker was sentenced to life in prison yesterday (Thursday) after pleading guilty to a robbery at a building society.

He had previously been convicted for robbing a bank in RoystonHe had previously been convicted for robbing a bank in Royston

Michael Wheatley, who got his nickname by pistol whipping robbery victims, will serve a minumum of 10 years after admitted to one count of robbery, possession of a firearm or imitation firearm and being unlawfully at large during a hearing at Guildford Crown Court.

He had absconded from an open prison HMP Standford Hill in Kent in May where he was serving 11 life sentences for a string of robberies on banks and building societies in 2001 and 2002, including one in Royston.

Detective Chief Inspector Chris Raymer, of Surrey Police, said: “Wheatley is a dangerous individual and I welcome the lengthy sentence imposed at this hearing which reflects the seriousness of his crimes.

“This was clearly an extremely distressing incident for the members of staff in the building society who were threatened by Wheatley and I hope the sentence helps them to move forward.

“Officers were at the scene within minutes of the emergency call and we worked closely with metropolitan and Kent Police colleagues, resulting in Wheatley being arrested within hours of the offence.”

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