Two More Jailed for Prescot Bank Machine Theft

By on Monday, December 15, 2014

natwest_prescot_bank_robbery_photoTwo men who blew up cash machines and stole hundreds of thousands of pounds have been jailed.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that the crimes were the first of their type in the UK, causing serious damage and posing a real risk to the public.

Judge Mark Brown sentenced Jonathan Webb, 32, of Woolfall Heath Avenue in Huyton to 19 years and Daniel Morgan, 22, of Youatt Ave, Prescot, to 13 years.

The court heard that the men were part of a gang that used tactics that had previously only been used on mainland Europe to get at the cash in the machines.

They were said to have planned and prepared the raids to the last detail and used gas to blow up the machines so they could access the cash in minutes.

They used high powered stolen Audi vehicles with cloned or stolen plates, specialist tools, angle grinders and gas cutting torches in their raids.

They wore balaclavas and blacked out clothing to avoid identification and drove away from the scene of their crimes at speeds of up to 191mph.

Webb and Morgan had fled to Spain following the offences but were tracked down and brought back to England under a European Arrest Warrant.

Five other men were jailed earlier this year for their part in the raids.

Anthony Bushell, of Childers Street, Old Swan, was sentenced to 17 years in prison, and Thomas Whittingham, of Broughton Hall Road, West Derby to 18 years. Ian Ellis, 29, of Warrington Road, Rainhill was jailed for 13 years. Craig Cartwright, of Vinecote Road, Coventry and Kurt Beddoes, of Hanford Avenue, Orrell Park, who were described as the masterminds behind the scheme, were jailed for 17 years.

Gary Keating, 30, was also charged with the offences but the jury found him not guilty following a retrial.

The attacks happened between February 2013 and December 2013 at banks and convenience stores and its thought around £800,000 was stolen in total.

The raids included one on the NatWest bank on Eccleston Street, Prescot town centre, in the early hours of Thursday 12 September 2013.

A tracker device placed in one of the targeted cash machines in Warrington helped investigators to find the offenders following the raids.

Janet Potter, Head of the Complex Casework Unit for the Crown Prosecution Service, Mersey-Cheshire said: “These men were ruthless and organised criminals who travelled the Midlands and North West of the country to steal large quantities of cash from bank telling machines.

“The method they used to do that involved the use of explosives to blow the back off the machines so that they could access the cash once they had burgled the premises. They had no regard for the risk to the public that created. All they were concerned with was the amount of money they could steal. On one occasion, they stole a quarter of a million pounds in one night.

“The crimes involved a considerable level of planning and the use of highly specialised tools and equipment . The group went to great lengths to avoid detection.

“However as a result of a tracking device placed by one of the banks into its cash machine and the painstaking diligence of both Merseyside and West Mercia Police Forces, the perpetrators were identified and evidence gathered which ultimately led to their conviction.

“This has been a lengthy and complex case. Mersey-Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service has worked alongside the investigation teams throughout and made the decisions necessary  to prosecute the defendants with the serious offences for which they have now received these significant sentences.”

Photo: Christine Climo

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