‘SAS’ crooks get 75 years in jail

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AN SAS-style gang of robbers who carried out a raid on Mildenhall’s branch of Nationwide have been jailed for a total of 75 years.

The group’s ringleader, Danny Speed, 29, of Eisenhower Drive, in Beckton – dubbed Mr Meticulous for his planning skills – was given 20 years.

The gang snatched almost £50,000 from Nationwide in Market Place on March 10, 2008.

During the raid, security guard Mark Logan was threatened with a 10,000 volt taser, with the one of the men begging his accomplice to ‘let me taser him’.

The men were clad in military outfits in order to fit in with US servicemen as they carried out the job.

Judge Wendy Joseph told Snaresbrook Crown Court last Friday: “The attacks were highly professionally planned, often over a substantial period of time.

“Disguises were worn, usually black including balaclavas. Where it suited the purposes of the robbers, white masks or camouflauge fatigues were substituted.”

They targeted cash machines as they were being refilled outside banks and supermarkets.

Judge Joseph described the guards who were attacked as ‘vulnerable’ and that they had been through a ‘traumatic experience’.

In total, the gang made off with £389,000 in a series of raids involving pistols, machetes and taser stun guns.

Over the 12-week trial, the court heard how the men splashed out on luxury cars and property with the stolen money.

Jailing Speed, Judge Joseph said: “You are a man who above all is motivated by your own self-interest.”

Speed was convicted for five counts of conspiracy to rob between November 2005 and September last year.

Five other members of the gang also received jail terms.

Speed’s cousin, Lee Watson, 42, also of Eisenhower Drive, Beckton, was jailed for 16 years after denying three counts of conspiracy to rob and having a firearm with intent.

Mark Richards, 29, of Berwick Road, Rainham – described as Speed’s lieutenant – was given a 13-year prison term after admitting three charges of robbery.

Andrew McCracken, 31, of Earlsdown House, Barking, who had denied two counts of conspiracy to rob, was handed 15 years.

Scott Guy, 35, of Bentry Road, Dagenham, was given nine and a half years in prison for admitting one charge of robbery.

James Cook, 29, of Hyndham House, Dagenham, was given 20 months after denying conspiracy to burgle.