Bury Sainsbury’s cash tube raider has bid to appeal conviction refused

Sainsbury's  Bury St Edmunds store was victim of an 'ingenius' burglary ENGANL00120121015112341
Sainsbury's Bury St Edmunds store was victim of an 'ingenius' burglary ENGANL00120121015112341

An ‘ingenious’ burglar who stole £14,800 from Sainsbury’s in Bury St Edmunds has had his bid for freedom turned down.

Michael David Bryon, 36, of Mosswood Street, Cannock, Staffs, was jailed for four years at Ipswich Crown Court on October 3 last year for burgling the Bedingfield Way supermarket.

At London’s Appeal Court last week, Lord Justice Jackson explained how, in many supermarkets, ‘it is common practice for cash to be transferred from the tills to the secure cash office in containers called ‘flight pods’ which travel through a vacuum tube in the roof void.

On January 11, 2014, Sainsbury’s staff discovered a number of flight pods arrived empty at the cash office, the judge said.

Police were called and found burglars had cut the tube in the roof to extract the contents of several pods, returning empty ones to the tube. A mixed DNA match was found on tape used to seal the tube, with the major portion matching Bryon’s.

Crown counsel, Lindsay Cox, described the burglars’ methods as ‘ingenious’.

However, Bryon’s barrister, Jonathan Goodman, argued the conviction was ‘unsafe’ and should be overturned because details of Bryon’s previous conviction for a similar burglary, at Tesco in Swindon, should not have been given to the jury.

Refusing the application Lord Justice Jackson said the burglary method was ‘not unique but was unusual’ and added: “It seems to us that the method of committing burglary at Swindon, and the method of committing burglary at Bury St Edmunds, were exactly the same.

“In our view the evidence of the previous conviction was properly admitted.”

The judge, sitting with Mr Justice Nicol and Judge Peter Collier QC, concluded: “The evidence of bad character was not bolstering a weak case, it was supporting a strong one.”