Five year term for gang member who stole ATM

A Barnsley "career criminal" involved in a ram raid was caught after his DNA was found on a cigarette butt discarded next to the abandoned getaway truck, a court heard yesterday.

Lee Boydell was part of a balaclava-clad gang which staged the raid on the HSBC Bank at Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire. Lincoln Crown Court heard how a stolen JCB digger was used to rip the cash machine from the wall.

The ATM was loaded onto the stolen pickup truck which was driven to an isolated farm and abandoned in a shed after 33,850 in cash had been removed.

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Mark Watson, prosecuting, said it was found weeks later. "A cigarette butt was found close to where the truck was.

"The remains of the ATM were in the back of the truck. The cigarette butt was tested for DNA and the results linked to the defendant."

Mr Watson said the entire frontage of the bank, on Broadway, was destroyed.

"This was a professional and well-planned burglary. The preparations started the previous month when the pickup truck was stolen from a farm."

The burglars stole the JCB vehicle from Tattershall.

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The court was told that Boydell had convictions for 193 previous offences including almost 100 for theft and similar matters.

He was arrested as he left prison from a short sentence imposed by magistrates five days after the ram raid.

Mr Watson said "This is a career criminal. He is a professional criminal."

Boydell, 37, of Linby Road, Athersley, Barnsley, admitted burglary.

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He was jailed for five years. Judge Michael Heath told him: "This was a professional operation carried out by a gang. It was carefully and deliberately planned."

Patricia Harding, mitigating, said Boydell was recruited to provide the vehicles used in the raid and then to dispose of the getaway truck.

"His benefit was to be 3,000. In the event he did not see anything."