‘Tenacious’ copper Derek nailed bank robber 25 years after raid

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A DETECTIVE whose work led to a bank robber being jailed 25 years after his crime has been named as Derbyshire police’s investigator of the year.

DC Derek Ellis took on the investigation into the 1985 armed raid on the Cromford branch of Lloyds knowing many of the witnesses and investigating officers at the time had died.

Fingerprint technology narrowed down the suspects to Alan Murray, a seemingly unlikely criminal as he was the area manager of a VW Audi dealer.

DC Ellis then had to track down the original bank cashier to give evidence.

At an awards ceremony at Ripley’s police headquarters on Tuesday, December 6, he revealed that two other men had now also been arrested in connection with the robbery.

DC Ellis said he believed the original investigation team probably failed to catch Murray because he “did not fit the profile for the crime”.

He said: “He was a very successful man in his own right.”

DC Ellis said the best part of catching Murray had been its positive effect on the bank cashier.

He had gone to the aid of a 61-year-old security guard who was hit, Derby Crown Court heard, by one of Murray’s accomplices with the butt of a gun and knocked unconscious.

The gang made off with £7,500.

DC Ellis, 35, who works in Matlock, said: “The amount of closure and sense of justice it gave to the victim was very evident.”

Murray was jailed in 2010 for 10 years after pleading guilty to the robbery and having an imitation firearm.

Also last year, DC Ellis gathered evidence to secure a guilty plea from a corrupt prison officer who was jailed for two years for helping an inmate escape Sudbury open prison.

At last night’s awards ceremony, Chief Constable Mick Creedon called the officer “patient and tenacious”.