Three men sentenced to a total of 45 years' imprisonment over bank robberies

20/11/2013

Three men have today been sentenced to a total of 45 years' imprisonment at Winchester Crown Court for conspiring to rob banks, building societies and shops in Hampshire, Berkshire and neighbouring counties.

Simon Massey, Senior Crown Prosecutor for the Complex Casework Unit of CPS Wessex, said: "For six months, between August 2011 and January 2012, Stewart Last, Richard Loveridge and Andrew Smith meticulously planned the robberies of banks and building societies in Havant, Fareham and Farnborough in which a total of £240,000 cash was stolen. They were also involved in a series of burglaries of shops in which large quantities of cigarettes were stolen."

Andrew Smith was sentenced to 11 years' imprisonment for conspiracy to rob, a sentence which will be served consecutively to a sentence of 14 years' imprisonment imposed on him in 2012 for GBH. Stewart Last and Richard Loveridge were each sentenced to 14 years' imprisonment for conspiracy to rob and each received an additional three years imprisonment for conspiracy to burgle.

Mr Massey said: "These three men took every possible anti-detection measure. They were forensically aware, they disguised themselves in balaclavas and dark clothing, they used high performance and high-value stolen cars with stolen number plates and they based their criminal activity in a rural location at Longfield Farm, near Windsor. However, they did not know that their night-time comings and goings were captured on CCTV over a period of two months.

"Considerable sums of money and property were stolen in the course of the conspiracy but we should not lose sight of the fact that the real victims of these offences were the security staff and employees who were threatened and put in fear by the defendants.

"Thanks to a thorough investigation by the Hampshire Constabulary Major Investigation team, close co-operation with the CPS Wessex Complex Casework Unit and the dedication and skill of prosecuting counsel, these dangerous offenders have been brought to justice."

Notes to editors:

  • £70,000 cash and stock were stolen from the robberies of shops in Basingstoke and Reading
  • £41,000 of stock was stolen in the burglaries of shops.