Gang loses ill-gotten gains

A CRIMINAL gang face losing everything after being hit with court confiscation orders totalling nearly �350,000.

A CRIMINAL gang face losing everything after being hit with court confiscation orders totalling nearly �350,000.

The quartet was jailed for a total of 17 years after being thwarted by an Ipswich police officer following 17 cashpoint raids spanning nine counties.

Now at least three of them will be pursued for the money they owe for the rest of their lives, or until they can fulfil the terms of the orders.

Its means any inheritances, substantial lottery wins or other future assets are libel to confiscation.

Paul Mockford, of Southgate, London, made �211,830 from the raids. However, he has no assets, therefore a nominal confiscation order of �1 has been made although he will continue to owe the full amount until it is paid.

Martin Godwin, of Romford, has been told his assets of �6,675 must be confiscated, but the remainder of the �106,570 he made from crime - �99,895 - must still be paid.

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A confiscation order has been made against George Welford, of Rochester, for �25,682. However, his criminal benefits were �28,780 and he is liable for the whole amount. Steward Bentley, of Ilford must pay back �1,750.

Their proceeds of crime hearings took place at Huntingdon Crown Court.

The four men admitted stealing �167,220 and causing damage totalling nearly �239,000.

Ten vehicles stolen to carry out the offences were valued at 285,730.

The raids were brought to a halt by Pc Alex Willson who was punched in the jaw by Bentley as he tried to escape during an attempted cashpoint burglary at a McDonalds in Ranelagh Road in April 2008.

Following the gang's sentencing at Ipswich Crown Court in January, Det Sgt Rob Haines, of Kent Police serious and organised crime unit, said: “This is probably the biggest single detected series of ATM (automated teller machines) offences we have ever dealt with."

Mockford also raided the Total UK garage at Beacon Hill Service Station at the junction of the A14 and the A140 near Coddenham in February 2008. However there was no cash in the machine at the time.

The 15 other offences took place in Essex, Kent, Hertfordshire, Nottinghamshire, Surrey, Middlesex, Bedfordshire and Oxfordshire.

Mockford pleaded guilty to 14 offences, while Welford admitted seven. They were jailed for five years. Godwin admitted seven offences and was jailed for four years in total. Bentley admitted one raid and assault on Pc Willson. He was jailed for three years.

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