A MACHETE-wielding robber has been jailed after police officers recognised his distinctive blue and yellow underpants from CCTV footage of a raid in Chester.
Michael Moynihan, 22, of Derby Place, Hoole, was jailed after he pleaded guilty to robbery at a Co-op store on Walker Street, Hoole, at 1pm on October 15 and having an offensive weapon in a public place.
Chester Crown Court heard how a masked man burst into the small store wielding a machete at shoulder height demanding money from the two men behind the counter while customers were in the shop. The man was acting very aggressively towards the shop assistants, making numerous threats before he grabbed £125 and ran out of the store leaving the shop assistants shaken because of the level of aggression shown.
After he ran out of the store the police were called and a large manhunt began in the area.
Peter Hussey, prosecuting, said police officers reviewed the store’s CCTV footage and officers noticed at one point the man’s grey trousers fell slightly to reveal bright blue and yellow underwear. The man was also wearing a black sleeveless top.
Mr Hussey said that later that day one of the police officers was on patrol near the city centre and saw Moynihan walking towards Chester Train Station from Boughton, where a kebab shop owner had just rang the police to report the finding of a black sleeveless top, grey trousers and a machete in the wheelie bin behind the premises.
The police officer noticed Moynihan had the same distinctive underwear seen earlier on the Co-op CCTV and arrested him on suspicion of robbery.
Mr Hussey said that although this was not a sophisticated robbery there was some element of planning because of the use of a disguise and the disposal of the weapon and clothes worn during the robbery.
Mr Hussey also pointed out that Moynihan had 10 convictions for 21 offences but this offence was “a clear escalation in his offending”.
Robin Boag, defending, said Moynihan had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and since his arrest had shown a real desire to use his time during his inevitable prison sentence well and gain some qualifications so he can get a job and look after his young son.
Mr Boag said the reason behind Moynihan’s decision to rob the store was an all too familiar story of getting into a drug debt as Moynihan owed money for his cocaine habit.
In sentencing, Judge Arthur Dean QC, said Moynihan would have received five years in prison if he had not pleaded guilty.
Judge Dean QC said: “The robbery you pleaded guilty to was not sophisticated, indeed what you did in some ways was inept.
“You took a machete to a small shop and issued threats and forced vulnerable staff members to give you money. You did not use the weapon to inflict any injury, it was only there to make threats of violence.
“Although it is clear you are not an articulate man you do seem to have determination to put your past behind you.”
Judge Dean QC sentenced Moynihan to three years in prison for robbery and six months in prison for having an offensive weapon in a public place. The sentences will run concurrently.