Published: 13:00, 29 May 2014 |
Updated: 17:28, 29 May 2014
An armed robber dubbed the "Skullcracker" has today been jailed for life after admitting an armed robbery at a building society while on the run from a Kent prison.
Michael Wheatley, 55, was already serving 13 life sentences when he disappeared from HMP Standford Hill, on the Isle of Sheppey, for four days earlier this month.
He has now admitted a £13,000 raid on the Chelsea Building Society in Sunbury-on-Thames while being hunted by Kent Police officers.
Wheatley appeared for a hearing at Guildford Crown Court this morning, where he pleaded guilty to robbery.
He also admitted possessing a firearm and being unlawfully at large. A judge told Wheatley he will serve at least 10 years in prison before being considered for parole.
A second man - 53-year-old Kevin Perry, from east London - is also charged with assisting an offender, perverting the course of justice and handling stolen goods.
Perry did not enter any pleas and was remanded in custody until July 18.
A huge manhunt was launched when Wheatley failed to return to his open prison after being let out on day release on Saturday, May 3.
It is believed a train timetable was found in Wheatley's cell after he fled, with the Sittingbourne to London route highlighted.
Wheatley was serving 13 life sentences following a string of brutal raids on banks and building societies.
He carried out 13 raids over 10 months in 2001 and 2002 while on parole from a 27-year sentence for other robberies.
He earned his nickname after pistol-whipping victims during the raids. He usually targeted lone, elderly women.
Wheatley was finally held by officers in Mile End, east London, on Wednesday, May 7.
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating! PLUS, register for free!.
Neil Miller, Hever Castle head gardener is new gardening blogger.
Buy pictures that you've seen in a KM newspaper, or send in a picture and we will place it on our photo sales website so that you can purchase a super, unique gift.