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6 August 2010, 10:50
A Londoner who was in a stolen lorry that was used in a ram raid at the Co-op store in Redbourn, Herts has been jailed for four years.
Sean Bennett, 23 went to jail still maintaining his innocence to the burglary committed on October 13 last year.
Judge Peter Wright told him; "This offence required a degree of planning and preparation and serious damage was caused to the property. It shattered the peace of the town in the early hours and caused major disturbance. It was an affront to the lives and security of the people who live in Redbourn."
Bennett, from Coppetts Road, Muswell Hill pleaded not guilty to burglary and aggravated vehicle taking, but was unanimously convicted by a jury at Luton Crown Court last month. He was sentenced at the same court after the preparation of pre sentence reports.
The jury heard how residents were woken at about 4.15 that morning by the sound of the stolen truck smashing through the plate glass window of the supermarket.
The prosecution alleged that three men in the truck, which had been stolen earlier in London, were intent on stealing the ATM machine but fled empty handed.
Police were alerted and chased the truck along the M1, during which it was driven dangerously. When it reached the A1(M) it suddenly stopped in the fast lane and the three men ran off.
The driver was caught quickly, and he pleaded guilty to the offence when he appeared at Lincoln Crown Court and was jailed for three years.
Bennett was seen close by giving the impression he was out jogging, but a shard of glass was found on his trainer which the prosecution alleged linked him to the crime scene.
He made no comment in interview and did not give evidence to the jury.
Miss Clare Dowse, defending said: "He continues to deny his involvement in the offence but understands that the court has only one option today."