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Gang based in East Midlands jailed for ATM raids causing over £1m in damage and losses

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Most of those responsible were based in Leicestershire.

A criminal gang, centred in the East Midlands, has been jailed for committing more than £1 million-worth of damage and theft against cash machines across the UK.

Since March 2021, 17 attacks were committed by the group against ATMs across England, Wales and Scotland, with more than £600,000 in cash stolen and causing over £1 million worth of vehicle theft and building damage.

Most of those responsible were based in Leicestershire, with key contact in Scotland to enable a number of attacks across the border. 

EMSOU Detective Chief Inspector Darren Brown said: “This was a brash but technically skilled organised group, which found strength as a close-knit, omni-competent criminal community, operating under a clear leadership.

“On the face of it, this type of crime may seem victimless, but in attacking ATMs this group have attacked at the very heart of the community. Residents were left without a local means of accessing their cash. Many of these attacks also left vital community conveniences, such as Post Offices, petrol stations and ‘corner’ shops out of action while they were repaired. And then there’s the associated residential burglaries and thefts of the vehicles used in the crimes. 

“The sentences given today reflect how seriously the criminal justice system views this type of organised offending and the harm it inflicts on society.

“Through some expert investigation and concerted effort we have also demonstrated the level at which UK policing can collaborate across county and country borders in order to protect our communities.”

The gang was found to be using two methods of attack, depending upon the type of automated teller.

If it was standalone, they would use a stolen van and straps to rip it from the ground. They would then steal the contents and make off in a stolen high-powered vehicle bearing false registration plates.

For machines in a building, the gang would use a power tools or vehicles to smash through doors, then use a drill and other tools to access the contents of the ATM.

The following people previously pleaded guilty to a range of offences, all committed between 14 March 2021 and 18 November 2022, and were sentenced at Leicester Crown Court on Friday 10 May 2024.

Jailing the men, His Honour Judge Brown said: “These are serious and organised crimes, and I have a duty to impose substantial sentences.”

He imposed the following sentences:

Patrick Gilheaney, aged 34 and formerly of Griggs Road in Loughborough: Seven years and six months imprisonment, for conspiracy to commit a non-dwelling burglary with intent to steal and conspiracy to steal from another.

John Smith, aged 32 and formerly of Evergreen Close in Spalding, Lincolnshire: Seven years and six months imprisonment, for conspiracy to commit a non-dwelling burglary with intent to steal and conspiracy to steal from another.


Tali Smith, aged 34 and formerly of Barlestone Road in Bagworth, Leicestershire: Six years and eight months imprisonment, for conspiracy to commit a non-dwelling burglary with intent to steal and conspiracy to steal from another.


Alfie Boswell, aged 32 and formerly of Barlestone Road in Bagworth, Leicestershire: Five years imprisonment for conspiracy to steal and assisting an offender.


William Boswell, aged 24 and formerly of Barlestone Road in Bagworth, Leicestershire: Three years imprisonment for conspiracy to steal.


Sarah Haynes, aged 35 and formerly of Barlestone Road in Bagworth, Leicestershire: 12 months sentence, suspended for 24 months, for assisting an offender.


Victoria Smith, aged 35 and formerly of Evergreen Close in Spalding, Lincolnshire: 12 months sentence, suspended for 24 months, for assisting an offender.


Rosie McAllister, aged 28 and formerly of Barlestone Road in Bagworth, Leicestershire: 12 months sentence, suspended for 24 months, for assisting an offender.


Francis Gilheaney (aka Kathleen Connors), aged 33 and formerly of Griggs Road in Loughborough: 12 months sentence, suspended for 24 months, for assisting an offender.


Gordon McPhee, aged 37 and formerly of Peters Lane in Pumpherston, Edinburgh, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit a non-dwelling burglary with intent to steal and conspiracy to steal from another after a trial in February. He was sentenced to six years.

 

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