WIRRAL Council is prosecuting a national newsagents chain over claims it failed to protect staff in connection with a series of armed robberies across the borough.

The authority has brought six charges against Martin McColl Ltd, accusing it of breaching its general duty to staff.

It comes after an investigation by the council’s environmental health division into six robberies that took place at McColl’s and Martin’s stores across Wirral between April 2011 and January 2012.

Each of the six charges alleges that the company “failed to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of” employees.

During the raids - which saw stores including those in Rock Ferry, Prenton and Birkenhead targeted – one member of staff was held up at knifepoint, another was threatened with crowbars and a third was hit over the head as he delivered takings to another store.

The case will be heard at Wirral Magistrates Court on March 11 after being adjourned on Tuesday to allow more time for discussions to take place.