Long Ashton Post Office explosion culprits jailed

Duggan, Nicholas Mann, Shane Dennis
Image caption Duggan, Mann and Dennis were sentenced to over 20 years in jail

Three men who blew up a cash machine near Bristol causing £200,000 worth of damage and made off with nearly £60,000 in cash have been jailed.

Patrick Duggan and Nicholas Mann were sentenced on Monday and Shane Dennis on Tuesday after admitting the offences at Bristol Crown Court.

Det Ch Insp Matt Iddon said: "It was only through sheer luck that no-one was seriously injured in the attack."

The theft happened on 4 January 2016 at the Post Office in Long Ashton.

'Powerful explosion'

Shop owner David Andrews said: "It knocked us back four years, it literally knocked four years' growth off the business."

The newly repaired machine now has several security features such as armoured plating and forensic water dispersal units which sprays offenders with indelible liquid.

The court heard the gang stole gas canisters from a builder's yard, and number plates from a car before the attack.

Image caption The attack used gas canisters to blow up the cashpoint machine in Long Ashton

Mr Iddon said: "The size and power of the explosion was evident in the destruction caused and someone could quite easily have been badly hurt or even killed.

"The sentences handed out by the judge reflect how seriously offenders who carry out these attacks are dealt with."

All three men, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to steal and conspiracy to cause explosions at an earlier hearing in November.

They also admitted being involved in another attack three days earlier in Harford Square, Chew Magna.

Duggan was sentenced to seven years and eight months, Mann for seven years and four months and Dennis was sentenced to six years.

Image caption The new machine has new security features to help prevent future attacks

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