Gang jailed for blowing up cash machines across Hampshire.
THE ‘ringleader’ of an organised criminal gang which used explosives to try and steal from 14 cash machines across Hampshire, Berkshire and Surrey has been sentenced to 17 years in prison.
Five Hampshire men took part in a vast series of “well organised and orchestrated” criminal activities, including burglaries and car thefts, over a nine-month period, as well as the ATM incidents, to the cost of approximately £1.2million in total loss and damage.
On one occasion they also stole a one-year-old French Bulldog - which thankfully was returned to its owners. Between April 2019 and January 2020, they used crowbars, oxyacetylene gas and petrol to blow up ATMs and steal tens of thousands of pounds in cash.
The group members were not all involved in all of the attacks, and just three of the 14 attempts were successful, totalling more than £61,000 stolen.
David “Paddy” Hughes of Street End Close, Rotherwick, was the “leading figure” of the group which was responsible for £250,000 in damage, £99,500 in vehicle thefts and £146,000 in domestic and commercial burglaries.
The 31-year-old admitted conspiring to steal, conspiring to burgle and conspiring to cause explosions in October last year.
At his sentencing at Winchester Crown Court this week, the 31-year-old attended by video link, while his co-defendants - Adam Jones, 31, from Fareham; Colin Golding, 26, from Farnborough; Cameron Chivers, 24, from Southampton; and Jesse Matthews, 21, from Bordon appeared in person.
The judge handed Hughes 17 years imprisonment. Jones received 13-and-a-half years, Golding nine years, Chivers eight years and four months, and Matthews six years and eight months.
In total, the group were handed 54-and-a-half years in custody.