Thug held gun to guard’s head then blamed dead cancer victim

A cowardly thug tried to pin a series of armed robberies, including a knife-point raid on Greggs bakery, on his girlfriend's dead brother.

Anthony Molloy, 56, tried to lay the blame on Paul McNalley, who had tragically died following a battle with cancer and a secondary brain tumour.

The armed robber, of Lilley Grove, Anfield, also held an imitation gun to a cash delivery guard's head during a ruthless crime-spree.

Liverpool Crown Court heard how Molloy and unknown associates had committed three armed robberies over a 10 week period.

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The first incident saw two men held at knifepoint as they delivered large sums of money to a cash machine at 11.30am on Saturday, October 19 last year.

The victims, employed by cash handling company Loomis, were delivering money to a Tesco Express on High Street in Wavertree when Molloy and an accomplice approached their van.

They were delivering money to a building described as a cash machine "bunker" when Molloy pulled out an imitation firearm and his accomplice held a knife.

The robbers threatened the two men, forcing one of them back into the bunker as they undertook the robbery.

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CCTV footage played in court showed Molloy holding a silver gun to the heads of both the men as his accomplice wielded a large knife and kept lookout.

Henry Riding, prosecuting, explained that during the three-and-a-half-minute robbery groups of people used the cash machine – including a family with a child.

The court heard the robbers shouted at the two men ordering them to input a code which would release one of the cash "cassettes" containing money.

Following the ordeal, which left one of the victims requiring time off work, the pair made off towards a vehicle that was waiting on a nearby street.

A similar robbery took place at Asda on Utting Avenue in Walton on December 12, which saw a security guard also delivering money threatened with a knife.

Three men escaped with a quantity of cash – but it was recovered after police officers traced the stolen cash box to the loopline.

In a separate incident at a Greggs bakery on Broadway, Norris Green, two men – one armed with a knife – threatened shop assistants as they attempted gain access to a safe.

The incident took place at around 5pm on Saturday, December 28, but the men were unsuccessful in gaining access to the safe.

Police discovered that Molloy had tried to blame all of the robberies on his girlfriend's brother – who had died following a battle with cancer before the last robbery had even taken place.

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The 56-year-old has 26 previous convictions for 68 offences, including numerous theft and burglary offences and in 2000 a robbery offence.

Keith Sutton, defending, explained that Molloy had tested for positive for cocaine following one of the incidents, which he stated went some way to explaining how he fell into this type of lifestyle.

He also stated that recently he has volunteered at a charity which offers help to offenders, and explained that while in prison he has sought his own support and offered similar help to other convicts.

Molloy was ordered to serve a 18 year prison sentence following the robberies and possession of weapons, with an additional six on licence.