27 May Witham armed robber jailed for twenty years
A man, who stole £235,000 in cash during an armed robbery in Witham, has been jailed for 20 years.
During a trial, Chelmsford Crown Court heard how two security guards were approached by two men wearing balaclavas and armed with a double-barrelled shotgun as they went to refill an ATM at the Asda store in Highfields at around 8.30am on December 14, 2016.
One of guards was forced to his knees while the other was told to remove money from their security van.
The men then made off in a BMW 4×4 which was being driven by a third man.
A BMW X6, with false plates, was found abandoned in Speedwell Close, Witham at around 9.45am.
The car was forensically recovered and found to have been stolen during a burglary in Tiptree earlier in the year. It was also covered in petrol and a lighter was found at the scene leading officers to believe there had been attempts to set it on fire.
DNA found on the vehicle was linked to Stephen Smith, formerly known as Stevie Atkins.
An Essex Police investigation found Smith was in Spain and, following work between the police, the Crown Prosecution Service, and the National Crime Agency, he was arrested on Tuesday, May 8 2018 and extradited back to the UK.
Smith, 37, of Calle Carajima, Mijas, Malaga was charged with robbery and having a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence.
He denied the charges but was found guilty and sentenced today, Friday May 24, following a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court.
He received 16 years for robbery, four years for possession of a firearm, meaning he was jailed for a total of 20-years.