Armed gang tried to grab £100k in raid

Southend Standard: Cops were waiting to pounce on shotgun gang Cops were waiting to pounce on shotgun gang

AGANG of armed robbers who tried to grab £100,000 in an ambush on post office security guards in Leigh are facing jail.

Balaclava-clad Patrick Claydon, 49, and Tommy Aitken, 38, armed themselves with a loaded doublebarrelled pump-action shotgun and a stun gun for the raid on the security van during daylight.

But detectives knew they were planning the raid and pounced on the two men before they could get away with any cash.

Getaway driver Sandra Clarke, 45, had been under surveillance for months as she bought a Ford Escort using a false name and repeatedly observed security guards depositing cash atBelfairs Post Office in Leigh.

When the raid happened, on November 13 last year, Clarke was waiting in a car nearby with changes of clothing for the two robbers, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard. Officers pounced when Aitken, armed with the shotgun, leapt out of the car and tried to storm the security van.

Claydon, himself brandishing a stun gun, fled the scene in a bid to evade capture, and after his eventual arrest another pump-action shotgun and ammunition was found at his home.

Timothy Hunter, prosecuting, said: “The defendants were arrested in the middle of a wellplanned armed robbery of a security van due to make a delivery to a post office.”

Clarke was arrested in the car.

The court heard the raid had been planned for more than six months, according to surveillance pictures of Clarke dating back to April 30 last year.

Aitken and Clarke have no previous convictions, but Claydon served eight years in 1993 for drugs-related offences.

The gang were due to be sentenced yesterday, but Judge Louise Korner was forced to adjourn the hearing because the senior barrister representing Aitken and Claydon did not show up to the hearing.

All three were remanded in custody until the sentencing resumes on April 16.

Claydon, of no fixed abode, and Aitken of Lyndhurst Drive, Hornchurch, admitted a single count of conspiracy to commit robbery and two counts of possession of a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence.

Clarke of Eastwood Road North, Leigh, admitted conspiracy to commit robbery and three counts of possession of controlled drugs.

Comments (8)

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6:36am Wed 2 Apr 14

carnmountyouknowitmakessense says...

Fantastic job, by the Police, only a shame the robbers weren't shot, in the legs..
Fantastic job, by the Police, only a shame the robbers weren't shot, in the legs.. carnmountyouknowitmakessense
  • Score: 15

7:58am Wed 2 Apr 14

pembury53 says...

a 100 grand wouldn't go far, between three, in this day and age......
a 100 grand wouldn't go far, between three, in this day and age...... pembury53
  • Score: 6

9:33am Wed 2 Apr 14

dhd says...

The gang were due to be sentenced yesterday, but Judge Louise Korner was forced to adjourn the hearing because the senior barrister representing Aitken and Claydon did not show up to the hearing.

Really!!!
The gang were due to be sentenced yesterday, but Judge Louise Korner was forced to adjourn the hearing because the senior barrister representing Aitken and Claydon did not show up to the hearing. Really!!! dhd
  • Score: 4

9:42am Wed 2 Apr 14

DogsMessInLeigh says...

pembury53 wrote:
a 100 grand wouldn't go far, between three, in this day and age......
could buy 100's of Ford Escorts though.
[quote][p][bold]pembury53[/bold] wrote: a 100 grand wouldn't go far, between three, in this day and age......[/p][/quote]could buy 100's of Ford Escorts though. DogsMessInLeigh
  • Score: 4

11:46am Wed 2 Apr 14

I don't pay council tax - fu5k them says...

Good luck lads. Hope your court ordeal ain't too bad and hope you get off with a light sentence.
Good luck lads. Hope your court ordeal ain't too bad and hope you get off with a light sentence. I don't pay council tax - fu5k them
  • Score: -16

7:13pm Wed 2 Apr 14

DogsMessInLeigh says...

I don't pay council tax - fu5k them wrote:
Good luck lads. Hope your court ordeal ain't too bad and hope you get off with a light sentence.
you forgot the female of the group...or didn't you read it all.
[quote][p][bold]I don't pay council tax - fu5k them[/bold] wrote: Good luck lads. Hope your court ordeal ain't too bad and hope you get off with a light sentence.[/p][/quote]you forgot the female of the group...or didn't you read it all. DogsMessInLeigh
  • Score: 1

10:59pm Wed 2 Apr 14

smiffy22 says...

DogsMessInLeigh wrote:
I don't pay council tax - fu5k them wrote:
Good luck lads. Hope your court ordeal ain't too bad and hope you get off with a light sentence.
you forgot the female of the group...or didn't you read it all.
He probably finds it very difficult.
Regards,
Smiffy22
[quote][p][bold]DogsMessInLeigh[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]I don't pay council tax - fu5k them[/bold] wrote: Good luck lads. Hope your court ordeal ain't too bad and hope you get off with a light sentence.[/p][/quote]you forgot the female of the group...or didn't you read it all.[/p][/quote]He probably finds it very difficult. Regards, Smiffy22 smiffy22
  • Score: 1

5:06pm Thu 3 Apr 14

Druggie Scumbag says...

pembury53 wrote:
a 100 grand wouldn't go far, between three, in this day and age......
This is true but how long would the average hard working person have to toil to save over £33k? Probably about the number of years that these miscreants will be sentenced to spend behind bars?
[quote][p][bold]pembury53[/bold] wrote: a 100 grand wouldn't go far, between three, in this day and age......[/p][/quote]This is true but how long would the average hard working person have to toil to save over £33k? Probably about the number of years that these miscreants will be sentenced to spend behind bars? Druggie Scumbag
  • Score: 0

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