Eight-strong gang jailed for cash machine attacks in Devon

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Image copyright Devon and Cornwall Police
Image caption The gang tried to blow the machines out of the wall using oxy-acetylene gas

A gang that tried to blow-up cash machines in Devon during a series of failed raids has been jailed.

The group tried to force the machines out of the wall using oxy-acetylene gas but it failed to ignite, Exeter Crown Court heard.

The eight-strong gang from Liverpool was finally caught with the help of CCTV footage.

Judge Erik Salomonsen said: "This type of crime is an increasing danger to society."

More on this story and others from Devon

The court heard the NatWest in Newton Road, Torquay and Barclays at St Marychurch were both attacked by the gang using oxy-acetylene on 7 and 8 December 2015 - both robberies failed.

The gang also tried to use a 4X4 vehicle to drag out machines at branches of the Co-Op in Dartmouth and Paignton.

Judge Erik Salomonsen said: "More and more desperate individuals are resorting to the use of explosives to raid machines and deterrence must play a part in sentences."

Image copyright Devon and Cornwall Police
Image caption Clockwise from top left: Joseph Field, Robin Vaughan Senior, Robin Vaughan Junior and Johnny Vaughan
Image copyright Devon and Cornwall Police
Image caption Clockwise from top left: Peter Atkinson, Ian Harris, James Brewer and Frederick Pearce

The gang included:

  • Robin Vaughan Senior, 44, of Liverpool, admitted conspiracy to cause explosions. He was sentenced to 14-and-a-half years to run concurrent to a 10-year sentence he is currently serving for similar offences in Scotland
  • Robin Vaughan Junior, 27, from Lyme Grove, Liverpool, admitted robbery, conspiracy to rob and to burgle. He was jailed for 10 years
  • Johnny Vaughan, 21, from Lyme Grove, Liverpool, admitted robbery, conspiracy to rob and to burgle. He was sentenced to seven years and one month
  • Peter Atkinson, 17, of Prescott, Liverpool, admitted robbery. He received three years and eight months
  • Joseph Field, 35, from Willow Grove, Warrington, admitted conspiracy to cause explosions. He was handed four-and-a-half years
  • Ian Harris, 36, from Torquay, admitted conspiracy to burgle. He was jailed for three years and seven months
  • James Brewer, 36, of Brookwood Road, Liverpool, admitted conspiracy to burgle. He was given four years and eight months
  • Frederick Pearce, 53, of Torquay, pleaded guilty to robbery and burglary and is to be sentenced next week
Image copyright Devon and Cornwall Police
Image caption A security guard robbery in Brixham, Devon, led to the gang's capture thanks to CCTV footage

Speaking after the case, Det Insp Kay Chapman said: "They were a determined prolific gang mainly from out of force who thought south Devon would be an easy target."