'I'll blow your heads off' - robber to terrified staff at Hull banks
A BANK robber who threatened to "blow the heads off" terrified staff has been jailed for more than seven years.
Dean Andrew Wray, 42, handed cashiers notes claiming he had a fully loaded revolver and would shoot them unless they filled bags with money for him. He made off with a total of £5,475 from the two raids last month.
Wray claimed he had given away more than £2,000 of the stolen money to homeless people.
Hull Crown Court heard Wray, who has more than 150 previous convictions, including for theft and burglary, had only been released from prison five days before the first raid.
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He has now pleaded guilty to two robberies on February 5 and February 6, and been jailed for seven years and four months.
Detective Chief Inspector Paul Cunningham, who led the investigation, said: "Wray is a career criminal who resorted to any means to get what he wanted.
"He thought about this long and hard and clearly intended for it to create a lot of fear in the mind of the people working in the banks.
"These were nasty offences and I am pleased with the sentence."
The first robbery took place at Yorkshire Bank in Princes Avenue, west Hull.
Wray walked up to the counter and handed the female cashier a note written on the back of a William Hill betting slip.
It read: "This is a robbery. I have got a fully loaded revolver, don't **** me about or I will shoot at will. Fill the bag quickly and quietly and no exploding money or I will come back and blow your head off. Be warned."
Wray was wearing a hat and had his hood up to disguise himself. He kept one hand in his pocket.
Wray told the woman: "Hurry up. Be quick. I'm serious."
Prosecutor Jayne Bryan said: "Although no weapon was produced, she genuinely believed that the threat was a real one. She was frightened by the defendant and the prospect of him having a gun.
"She said there was something about the man that made her believe the threat would be carried out."
As the cashier filled the bag with money, Wray threatened to "blow her head off" again unless she hurried up. He left the bank with the cash and she sounded a panic alarm.
The next day, Wray targeted the Natwest bank in Hessle Road, west Hull. He again handed a note to a member of staff, instructing her to fill a bag with money.
She did so with one hand while trying to press the panic alarm with her other.
The woman placed £3,600 inside the bag, along with a smoke and dye pack. As Wray made his getaway out the bank the pack exploded and he was surrounded by a cloud of pink smoke.
Following the two raids, Humberside Police deployed armed officers throughout Hull to search for him and security was increased at all the city's banks.
He was caught the day after the second robbery.
Officers received reports of a man acting suspiciously near Hymers Avenue in west Hull. When they confronted him at the entrance of West Park, he threw a holdall at them.
Wray was arrested and found with more than £3,000-worth of notes covered in pink dye.
His solicitor Harold Bloomfield told the court: "More than £2,000 he had given to the homeless. He denies deriving any financial benefit from the offences.
"Quite clearly he was operating alone. There were no hallmarks of sophistication, no getaway vehicle.
"He wrote the note on a William Hill betting slip in William Hill and was recorded doing that."
Judge Mark Bury told Wray: "You have a wretched record of criminal offences.
"You were released on licence again and committed these two very serious offences of robbery.
"You threatened you had a gun and would use it. Plainly the cashier believed you had a gun.
"The next day you went to another bank In Hessle Road and again threatened the cashier, claimed you had a fully loaded revolver and you would use it.
"You were given more money but there was a dye pack in it, which exploded and rendered the money useless."