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Final member of ATM robbery gang jailed

27 April 2017  |  3816 views  |  0 Source: Metroplitan Police

The final member of a gang which exploded 27 cash machines across London has been jailed for nine years.

The sentencing yesterday, Wednesday 26 April, means all four members of the gang have now been jailed for a total of 42 years.

Ben Kilminster, 26 (18.03.91) of Augustus Street, N1 appeared at Kingston Crown Court for sentencing, having previously been found guilty of conspiracy to cause explosions likely to endanger life or cause serious injury to property and conspiracy to commit burglary.

The audacious series of offences, investigated by the Met's Flying Squad, took place between July 2014 and April 2015, primarily in banks and post offices in west London, Surrey and Thames Valley.

The incidents involved a method of entry that was highly dangerous, not only for those committing the offence, but particularly for members of the public either living in properties attached to the venues or passing by, unaware that an explosion was about to take place.

To gain entry to the ATMs, the gang pumped a combustible oxyacetylene gas into the cash machine and then ignited it from around 15 metres away with an electrical charge.

After exploding the cash machine, the gang would then have to break into the venue in order to access the back of the machine where they would attempt to remove cash from inside.

During the ten-month crime spree, 19 attempts made by the gang failed. In the majority of failures they exploded the ATM but were unable to access the safe to retrieve the cash. In three cases they were either disturbed or confronted by members of the public and fled the scene leaving their equipment behind.

The remaining eight offences resulted in a total cash loss of approximately £356,330 with damage caused to the venues as a result of the explosions totalling £320,055.
The gang was found to have robbed more than one venue on the same night. On 6 October 2014, three premises were targeted in little more than an hour.

In all cases the vehicles used by the gang displayed stolen or cloned number plates.
Of the 27 offences, eight took place in Hounslow, four in Hillingdon and eight in Ealing. There were also three offences in Surrey and three in Thames Valley.

Kilminster was arrested on 17 December 2015 and on the same date he was charged with conspiracy to cause explosions likely to endanger life or cause serious injury to property, contrary to Section 2 of the Explosives Substances Act 1883 and conspiracy to commit burglary. He entered a plea of not guilty and was remanded in custody to appear for trial at Kingston Crown Court on 19 April.

DI Scott Hartley of the Met’s Flying Squad, said:
“Kilminster is the fourth member of this gang to be jailed, all of whom have now received considerable prison sentences for their reckless actions. It was sheer luck that nobody was killed. They handled an extremely dangerous substance carelessly and with complete disregard for the safety of others. The level of threat they posed to community safety has been fully reflected in these sentences.

"In addition to the danger the activities of this gang posed to the community, there was extensive damage to a number of small businesses who housed the ATMs as well as significant inconvenience caused to communities who in many cases rely on the use of the ATM itself or the facilities and services provided by the host businesses."

Already sentenced in relation to this case are:
Jamie Duggan, 26 (27.09.90) of Philip Road, Staines-Upon-Thames, Middlesex who appeared at Kingston Crown Court on Friday, 3 February and was sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment for conspiracy to commit burglary with intent to steal and conspiracy to cause explosions likely to endanger life or cause serious injury to property.

Anthony Rodwell, 27 (23.11.89) of Lauren Gardens, Ashford, Middlesex who appeared at Kingston Crown Court on Friday, 3 February and was sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment for conspiracy to commit burglary with intent to steal and conspiracy to cause explosions likely to endanger life or cause serious injury to property.

Trevor Collins, 26 (16.09.90) of Christophers Drive, Hayes, Middlesex who appeared at Kingston Crown Court on Friday, 3 February and was sentenced to nine years' imprisonment for conspiracy to commit burglary with intent to steal and conspiracy to cause explosions likely to endanger life or cause serious injury to property.

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