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By Kevin Unitt 30/07 Updated: 31/07 07:29
TWO MEN who robbed cash transit guards of £80,000 in the centre of Leamington have each been jailed for ten years.
And two others who took part in a second robbery plot weeks later have received four-year sentences following a trial at Warwick Crown Court.
Shaun Irwin, Joseph Martin, Shane Stojsavljevic and Andrew Ross – plus two other men Shaun Mills and Ryan McTighe who will be sentenced later - had all denied a charge of conspiracy to rob.
But after six hours 40 minutes the jury found all six men – who are from Coventry - guilty by unanimous verdicts, and also found Irwin, Martin and Mills guilty of the £80,000 robbery at the Halifax branch on the Parade in Leamington, which they had also denied.
Just after 1am on August 20, 2009, two security guards pulled up outside Halifax to deliver cash and saw Martin walk past them talking on a mobile phone, it later transpiring he had been relaying information to others including Irwin and Mills, who were waiting in a stolen Audi.
The guards had filled one cash machine and had started to fill the second when, at 1.12am, the Audi came round the corner and pulled up behind their van.
Three men jumped out and one of them kicked open the outer door to get to the cash machine as the guards took refuge behind an inner ‘airlock’ door.
The robbers grabbed the cash trays containing a total of £80,000 and ran back to the Audi which sped away, driven by a fourth man, as Martin walked from the scene.
The Audi raced to Vicarage Road, where the men piled out, leaving a pick axe handle and the empty cash trays inside, and ran to a hired white van with a black stripe and another vehicle which were then driven off.
About two weeks later the same delivery drivers suspected they were being targeted again and were being followed by several vehicles as they drove their armoured van from Coventry to make a cash delivery to an ATM machine at a Leamington petrol station.
The cars were later located in Leamington and Irwin and Ross, Mills, McTighe and Stojsavljevic were all arrested.
Sentencing the gang, Judge Marten Coates said of the Halifax robbery: “Thankfully no violence was used because the two guards escaped from you, but violence was threatened and there was a considerable amount of planning.”
Of the conspiracy plot, there were suggestions it had been ‘a reconnaissance’ rather than a robbery about to be staged, and judge Coates added: “I’m not convinced it was going to happen that night, but again it had a degree of planning, with the following of that van for some distance.”
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