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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:00 pm 
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A bungling robber who stole thousands of pounds from a bank armed with a machete was caught as he waited for a taxi after his getaway vehicle broke down.

Mark Brown burst into the Halifax in Salford Precinct armed with the blade while accomplice Paul Shields waited outside on a motorbike.

The pair - who have been caged for six years apiece - were wearing balaclavas and motorcycle helmets.

Manchester Crown Court heard Brown, 29, threatened a 19-year-old customer and told a bank worker he would hurt the woman unless he handed over money.

The member of staff gave Brown £7,280. Moments later, at around 3pm on August 29, the pair made off on the motorbike.

A short time after the pair sped off, the bike - which had been stolen a fortnight earlier - broke down after the clutch failed.

The pair ran off and Brown, carrying a rucksack stuffed with cash, made it to a nearby petrol station where he asked the owner to call for a taxi.

Shields, 27, was hiding in a nearby industrial unit.

Members of the public directed police to the area and the pair were arrested. All the cash was recovered.

Defending Brown, Jane Miller said he had previously borrowed £3,500 from a loan shark and that he had been shot in the foot after failing to clear the debt.

He had taken out the loan to buy Christmas presents for his two sons, the court was told.

Brown was also involved in a crash in July, when Ms Miller said he was told: “Next time you won’t walk away.”

She said Brown had committed the robbery in ‘desperation’.

Defending Sheilds, Max Saffman said his had also been desperate after being kicked out of his home by his girlfriend and being unable to afford a flat.

Judge Mr Justice William Davis sentenced both to six years in prison, with an extended licence period of three years.

He said Brown and Shields were dangerous offenders having both committed earlier robberies.

“This was a serious, planned robbery,” he added.

“By good fortune nobody suffered any serious harm as a result of this.

“The young woman at the counter is obviously made of stern stuff. You were very lucky.”

Brown, of Chatford Close, Salford, and Shields, of no fixed address, both pleaded guilty to robbery and possession of a machete under the law of joint enterprise.

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