Pair locked up after violent raid at estate’s off-licence

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Two men have been jailed for a total of 17 years after a £70,000 machete raid at an off-licence in Preston.

Robert Pinkney, 31, and Michael Bond, 31, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob but others involved in the terror raid have never been brought to justice.

Preston Crown Court was shown shocking CCTV of a group of men - all wearing balaclavas and one wielding a machete - confronting two security guards at the off licence in Langcliffe Road, Brookfield at around 9.30am on June 12.

The robbers demanded cassettes of money which were to be loaded into the cash machine and ordered the guards to open the machine and hand over the contents.

The men then fled in a stolen Mini Cooper which was later found 200 metres from the scene.

Two security guards, who worked for Green Team Security, gave personal statements outlining the terror they felt during the raid.

Both said they had suffered sleep problems and family difficulties but had returned to work, determined not to let their assailants get the better of them.

The Recorder of Preston, Judge Anthony Russell QC, said the robbery had “the hallmarks of a professional crime” and had required planning, targeting the security vehicle, carrying a weapon and having people to call upon when one of those involved in the conspiracy dropped out at the last minute.

The security van had been followed the previous day and two getaway vehicles had been stolen from the Manchester area in the weeks previously.

Richard English, prosecuting, told the court both men have previous convictions for robbery, and Bond has previously served an 11 year sentence for manslaughter following an incident in a pub in 2003.

Judge Russell QC told the men: “It is clear to me that several others were involved in this crime.

“You were prepared to become involved in a serious, professional robbery.”

Pinkney was sentenced on the basis he was involved in surveillance and planning of the robbery but did not take part in the raid on June 12.

Bond was not involved in the planning but took part in the raid after Pinkney pulled out, the court heard. He was also sentenced for aggravated vehicle taking and a further charge of conspiracy to rob after a deadly police chase in the West Midlands which eventually brought him and Pinkney to justice.

He and another man were arrested after their vehicle rammed two police cars during the pursuit before crashing into a central reservation. The chase, which was captured on CCTV, took place in July, when motorway police in the Midlands clocked two high-powered vehicles on the M6 and tracked them at a distance.

Judge Russell jailed Bond, of Gorsey Avenue, Manchester for 10 years and eight months and Pinkney, of Isis Close in Salford for 6 years and eight months. A reward of up to £25,000 is being offered for any information that leads to the arrest of a third man, Lee James Seddon, 36, who is wanted by Lancashire Police in connection with the robbery.

Seddon, was born in Salford but his last known address was in Bolton.




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