Manchester

Gang convicted of Haslingden bank raid plot

A man who was shot at by police as he tried to escape arrest has been convicted of plotting to carry out an armed robbery on a Lancashire bank.

Gavin Noakes, 30, of National Drive, Salford, admitted at Manchester Crown Court to conspiracy to rob, dangerous driving and possession of a firearm.

He was part of a gang of four men who were planning to rob the Santander bank in Haslingden on 24 September 2009.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is probing the gun shots.

After the hearing, police said Noakes was shot at by armed officers after he drove at one of them in an attempt to escape arrest.

'Intelligence branch'

He was seized in a supermarket car park on Blackburn Road, Haslingden, along with brothers, Jonathon and Richard Walsh, just before they were about to raid the bank.

A fourth member of the gang William Moore, 28, of Phoebe Street, Ordsall, Salford was arrested a few days later and admitted conspiracy to rob and handling a stolen car.

He was also convicted of possessing a firearm.

The gang was intercepted in an undercover operation, codenamed Bingo, involving officers from Greater Manchester Police's surveillance, robbery and firearms units and the force intelligence branch.

Richard Walsh, 26, of Heron Street, Oldham, admitted conspiracy to rob and handling a stolen car.

He was convicted of possessing a firearm following a trial.

Jonathon Walsh, 28, of Dobrook Close, Newton Heath, admitted conspiracy to rob, dangerous driving and handling a stolen car.

He was convicted of possessing a firearm.

The four will be sentenced at Manchester Crown Court at a later date.

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