Pair are jailed for their part in 'professionally planned' Leintwardine cashpoint robbery (From Ludlow Advertiser)
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Pair are jailed for their part in 'professionally planned' Leintwardine cashpoint robbery
TWO men have been jailed for their role in the theft of more than £50,000 during a cashpoint robbery on the south Shropshire border.
Peter Oates and Stephen Sweeney travelled through the night from Merseyside to Leintwardine to commit the crime, threatening security guards as they re-stocked a cash machine at the village’s HSBC branch.
The defendants were said to be joined by at least one other man and, and although Oates, pictured, and Sweeney didn’t enter the bank or attack the guards, a judge this week said each played their part in a “professionally planned commercial robbery”.
Prosecutor Abigail Nixon told Hereford Crown Court that masked men burst past the security guards around 1.20am on September 3, 2010 as two G4S staff replenished the cashpoint.
One of the guards was hit and told to stay down “or I will blow your head off”, before the men were given a code to the safe.
Ms Nixon said it was unclear who had shouted the order to the victims, adding they later told police they could recognised a Liverpudlian accent. Around £51,000 was taken.
She said the day before the robbery, on September 3, 2010, police stopped Sweeney as he drove through Liverpool with Oates and another man.
In his car, officers found a route planner giving directions from Merseyside to Leintwardine, cable-ties, gloves and neck-warmers.
Following the robbery, police searched Sweeney’s home in Colin Drive, Liverpool and found gloves and a mask.
When interviewed after handing himself in to police, Sweeney, aged 24, said he was asked by someone he knew to drive him and another person to Leintwardine because he believed they were meeting friends there.
He said it was only when they returned from the bank “in a panic” that he realised a robbery had been committed.
Oates, aged 26 and of no fixed abode, said he didn’t enter the bank or use violence.
Both admitted a charge of robbery on different basis of pleas.
Anthony Rose, for Oates, said his client has a number of previous offences for which this is the most serious.
Sweeney was said to be a man of good character who lost his job in a bank call centre as a result.
The court heard it was the first time he had been involved in any offence and only realised what was going on after seeing the others return to his car in Leintwardine where he had been waiting for them.
Oates was sentenced to six years and eight months in prison, while Sweeney will serve two years and eight months.
Ã Another man due to appear before the court in relation to the robbery was unable to attend after being involved in a car crash in Liverpool the day before the court case.