Armed robbers jailed for targeting four Co-ops

Michael McDonagh and Ryan Walsh have been convicted of robbing 4 co-op shops 

Michael McDonagh and Ryan Walsh have been convicted of robbing 4 co-op shops - Credit: Essex Police

Two men have been jailed for their part in four armed robberies across Essex.

Ryan Walsh and Michael McDonagh were sentenced to 10 and 12 years imprisonment respectively when they appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court. 

The two men target Co-op stores at closing time between May and August 2017, armed with knives and hammers.

On each occasion they threatened staff to hand over takings. 

Walsh, previously of Churchill Road, in Braintree appeared at Colchester Magistrates' Court on 16 December 2020 and was remanded in custody.

A warrant was issued for Michael McDonagh, of no fixed abode, after he failed to appear at the same court earlier, on December 1, 2020. Detectives arrested him in June 2021.

Walsh, 22, and McDonagh, 25, both pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to three counts of robbery that took place in Silver End, Flitch Green, and Bocking in 2017. 

McDonagh also pleaded guilty to a fourth robbery that took place in Witham on 13 August 2017.

Most Read

Both men were also convicted of multiple counts of possessing an offensive weapon used at the time of the robberies, with Walsh pleading guilty to four counts of possessing an offensive weapon, while McDonagh pleaded guilty to six offensive weapon charges.

Both of the men were jailed on December 22. 

Detective Constable Leeson, of the Braintree Criminal Investigations Department, who led the investigation said: “McDonagh and Walsh have been sentenced for multiple robberies that put innocent people in fear of their own safety as they went about their working day.

"These robberies were planned acts of violence and some of those involved are still suffering from the effects today. The court has seen fit to jail them for at least 10 years each, to reflect the severity of their actions.”

McDonagh was also convicted of a residential burglary that took place in Potters Bar in March 2018 and a violent disorder in Braintree from January 2019. He received a total sentence of 15 years imprisonment.