UK - Michael Wheatley, 'The Skullcracker', goes on the run in London

Discussion in 'Past Trial Discussion Threads' started by zwiebel, May 5, 2014.

  1. zwiebel

    zwiebel New Member

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    A violent armed robber known as 'The skullcracker' who was given 13 life sentences in 2002 has gone on the run from an open prison on the Isle of Sheppy, London. He'd been allowed a day out and was probably being considered for release, as the judge who handed him the life sentences only ordered him to serve 'at least eight years'.

    Michael Wheatley, 55, earned his nickname for using an imitation gun to bludgeon his victims during bank robberies. One was 73 years-old.

    That series of raids in 2001-2002 began just weeks after he had been paroled from a 27 year -sentence for other robberies.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-27280228
     
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  3. Cappuccino

    Cappuccino Well-Known Member

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    The Skullcracker - he sounds lovely!!

    Why such a short minimum tarrif when he had such a bad record, I wonder?
     
  4. zwiebel

    zwiebel New Member

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    Well, here he is - pulling a gun on an unarmed woman and scaring the life out of her.

    A minister has called whoever let him out of prison 'a berk'.

    It is probably not that simple - very good behaviour in prison resulted in good reports and early open prison/day release. But it seems like he's a career criminal to me, and no one took that into account. And those 13 'life' sentences were absolutely meaningless, in my opinion.

    If they don't catch him quick he is going to commit another robbery and maybe hurt or kill someone, for sure.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukn...-who-let-the-Skull-Cracker-out-of-prison.html
     

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  5. zwiebel

    zwiebel New Member

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    The last paragraphs of that article - just look how many times he has gone on the run, and how many chances he's been given!
     
  6. Fluttershy

    Fluttershy Member

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  7. zwiebel

    zwiebel New Member

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  8. Cappuccino

    Cappuccino Well-Known Member

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    Nothing meaningful will happen to rules about day release/parole procedures, I'll bet. You might get a few cosmetic changes and some of the usual noises about how lessons will be learned, blah blah. Nothing else will change.

    Its arguable whether anything about the rules on day release or parole for prisoners nearing the end of their sentence even should change in response to this case. The problem here wasn't caused by the prison service's internal rules about how to treat prisoners who are about to become eligible for parole - it was caused because the original trial judge, in his "wisdom", gave Skullcracker such an extraordiarily short minimum tarrif in the first place. If he'd given him a more realistic sentence he wouldn't have been moved to an open prison and given day release for many years yet.
     
  9. Fluttershy

    Fluttershy Member

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  10. Fluttershy

    Fluttershy Member

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    The guardian is reporting that he's been found and 2 men are in custody. No link yet, sorry.
     
  11. zwiebel

    zwiebel New Member

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    Here's one. Caught in East London - and police believe he committed ANOTHER bank robbery this morning!

    Another man has been arrested too.

    http://news.uk.msn.com/fugitive-skull-cracker-arrested

    ETA: Saw you have already linked a story about this morning's alleged bank raid, Fluttershy. I'm still shocked, even though I expected this.
     
  12. zwiebel

    zwiebel New Member

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    Photos of the arrest at the link. A witness says he and another were 'wrestled to the ground' by police armed with machine guns. But then who can blame them? The robber this morning had a gun, and nobody can be sure if it was a fake.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-27315001
     
  13. hayaletcatcher

    hayaletcatcher Active Member

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    For years the BBC misses us off their weather maps or joins us to the mainland and then they can't even spell our name correctly.:facepalm: Isle of Sheppey.

    We have a three prison cluster and HMP Standford Hill is the open one, and has had a lot of absconders of late. This guy got pretty far! And will now lose all rights and be moved to a much higher cat prison, maybe HMP Swaleside over the road, for the remaining term of his 13 life sentences. When he could of been home by Christmas.

    Glad they caught the dumbarse.
     
  14. zwiebel

    zwiebel New Member

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    I should think a lot of bank workers in 'his' area of London were worried, going into work this morning. It must have been a terrifying experience, especially as they would have heard about his previous pistol whippings of victims.
     
  15. zwiebel

    zwiebel New Member

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    Oh no. I've copied them and spelt it Isle of Sheppy too! Sorry!
     
  16. zwiebel

    zwiebel New Member

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  17. hayaletcatcher

    hayaletcatcher Active Member

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    While its awful he was even in Standford Hill, I wonder why he wasn't tagged and monitored. And who signed it off.. I know they are at critical staffing level and over maximum inmate numbers in all three. Did the Holiday weekend prove to much? Swaleside was on total lock down due to staff problems, but I don't think that is allowed at lower cat prison? Signed him out as one less body to deal with?

    If it wasn't for the Bank Holiday weekend he might of hit our high street since that's where a lot of absconder's are caught trying to rob banks, mug people and head for the train to the mainland but most transport was closed or running a two hourly service.
     
  18. hayaletcatcher

    hayaletcatcher Active Member

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    No sorry needed! A LOT of media does it when it has a story (normally of this sort but i think this one got further because of his nickname). I know locals who spell it that way due to a local business using the e less version. I just expected a bit more from the BBC :floorlaugh:

    As for the website, we have a wonderful naval and aviation heritage but tucked away down here it is being left to crumble. Out of sight, out of mind. But thank you for sharing, we are only ever known by our prisons!
     
  19. zwiebel

    zwiebel New Member

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  20. zwiebel

    zwiebel New Member

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  21. zwiebel

    zwiebel New Member

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    'Skullcracker' Michael Wheately has appeared in court charged with robbing a bank of £18,350, possession of an imitation firearm and being unlawfully at large. He didn't enter a plea and will reappear in court May 29th.

    Kevin Perry, 53, of West India Dock, London, was due to appear in court later. He is charged with assisting an offender, perverting the course of justice and handling stolen goods.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-27336796
     

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