Gang members jailed for 30 years after series of raids
Published on: 24 Feb 2017
THREE members of an organised crime gang have been jailed for nearly 30 years for their roles in a series of ATM attacks, which included one at a bank in Emersons Green.
Matthew Parsons, 27, Andrew Cox, 27 and John Clouter, 33 were sentenced for their involvement in four attacks in the Bristol area in March and April 2015.
All three pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to steal and conspiracy to cause explosions.
Parsons was jailed for 15 years, Cox for eight years and eight months and Clouter for six years.
The gang plotted to use a highly explosive gas to blow up ATMs at Halifax bank in Emersons Green, Ikea in Eastgate, HSBC in Redcliffe, and Lloyds Bank in Shirehampton.
Damage was caused to all of the cashpoints during the incidents with the most significant being to Lloyds Bank. The explosion during the early hours of Good Friday destroyed the front of the Shirehampton branch, resulting in the bank being shut for several weeks.
Just hours after the final attack Matthew Parsons was tracked travelling to Buckinghamshire where he bought an Audi S3 using cash believed to be from the Lloyds Bank ATM.
Detective Chief Inspector Matt Iddon said: “The attacks carried out by this highly organised crime gang were extremely dangerous and their actions put not only their own but other people’s lives at risk.
“The extent of the damage caused by the explosion at Lloyds Bank in Shirehampton showed exactly how devastating this kind of criminal act can be and it is only by chance that someone wasn’t seriously hurt.
“While the gang were lucky not to injury anyone in their final attack, their actions still had a significant impact on the community, with residents and business affected by the branch’s enforced closure.
“The sentences imposed today reflect how seriously the courts take this kind of violent offending and I’d like to pay tribute to the investigations team for their hard work and dedication in bringing this gang to justice.”
He added: “Since the start of last year, we in Avon and Somerset have been working closely with the ATM industry to make it harder for criminals to steal money from cashpoints.
“More ATMs across the force area have been fitted with equipment designed to stop these kinds of attacks from happening, including armoured plating, while many also now have forensic water dispersal units installed which spray offenders with an indelible liquid.
"These measures either make the cash cassettes harder to access or make it easier to identify those involved in such attacks and I think they have had a noticeable effect.”