AN estate agent boss has welcomed the conviction of two men for carrying out an armed robbery at his offices in Bury.
Jonathan Hogan, aged 22, of Crostons Road, Bury, was found guilty of robbery and possession of a firearm following a raid at Pearson Ferrier on July 31 last year.
Daniel Ogden, aged 38, of George Road, Ramsbottom, the getaway driver, was found guilty of robbery.
The jury took about four hours to return their verdicts last Thursday, which were unanimous on all three counts and delivered on the ninth day of the trial at Bolton Crown Court.
John Grimshaw, aged 24, of no fixed abode, who put an imitation pistol to the head of an estate agent worker, had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to robbery, possession of a firearm and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
A 17-year-old girl from Bury, who cannot be named for legal reasons, also previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and converting criminal property.
All four will be sentenced at a hearing on May 23.
Speaking after the trial of Hogan and Ogden, Mitchell Pearson, a partner at the estate agents in Walmersley Road, said: “We are delighted that these two have been brought to justice.”
The court heard that Grimshaw, wearing a mask, had told a member of staff, who had an imitation pistol pointed at his head, to open the safe, before telling the employee the correct code for the safe.
The robbers stole £5,340 in cash and a further £450 in cheques.
Officers at Bury Police have since won an award for their investigation into the armed robbery, named Operation Kenora.
Members of the Operation Challenger team, which focuses on fighting organised crime, won the Investigation of the Year award in the Bury division for their work.
They were presented with their accolade by former Bury Chief Supt Tim Forber and the Mayor of Bury, Cllr Sharon Briggs.
Their investigation included trawling through CCTV footage, investigating phone records and online communications.
The court heard that Hogan had travelled to Stafford on the evening of the robbery with Grimshaw and the 17-year-old girl to trade his car for a faster one, which he had arranged via a car swap website.
The court was told that the trio were spotted at the Trafford Centre before their trip and had been traced after the girl had used a card to pay for an item and Hogan could be seen with a “fat bundle of cash”.
Det Con Dave Potter, who led the investigation with PCs Andy Kiddie, Craig Murray, Nathan Lilley and Mark Wakelam, said it was satisfying to see the it come to its conclusion.