20 Years for Armed Robbers

Two men have admitted to an armed robbery in a car park in Swanley last year.

Two men were sentenced yesterday (Monday 7 June) to a total of 20 years in prison, for an armed robbery in Swanley last year.
Neil Corrigan, 28, of no fixed address, had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit armed robbery and possession of a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence at an earlier hearing.  He was sentenced to 11 years.
Ricky Aaron Johnson, 25, of no fixed address, had also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit armed robbery.  He was jailed for nine years.
Detective Inspector Eddie Fox from Kent Police's Serious and Organised Crime Unit said: 'I am pleased that the sentence given to these two men today reflects the gravity of the terrifying ordeal they put others through.
'Both Corrigan and Johnson, solely motivated by greed, carried out a violent attack in a public car park against security guards who were going about their lawful business. The terrifying events of this robbery have deeply affected their victims.
'Kent Police have a clear message to those involved in criminality - we will work tirelessly to bring offenders to justice and will not tolerate those who through their violent and callous actions create fear in our communities.'
Corrigan was on day release from HMP Stamford Hill on the Isle of Sheppey at the time of the offence where he was already serving a nine-year sentence for robbery.
The court heard how he had admitted threatening a security guard on Tuesday 11 August 2009 at 10.43am who was delivering cash to Barclays Bank, near to Nightingale Way in Swanley, Kent. Corrigan said he had planned the robbery in order to pay off a debt.
He pointed a handgun into the security guard's face and demanded the cash bag, which the guard was transferring from the bank to the security van. Corrigan snatched the bag containing £25,000 and ran off across an adjacent car park, followed by Johnson, to a waiting getaway car in St Mary's Road, Swanley.
Johnson had bought the car from a garage in Dartford at 9am on the morning of the robbery. He provided a false name for the registration document but gave his own known previous address. The car, a blue Rover, was later found burnt out in Roman Villa Road - a rural area between Swanley and Dartford.
Corrigan was arrested on 4 September 2009.  Officers from Kent Police's Serious and Organised Crime Unit carried out extensive searches and enquiries to locate Johnson before he surrendered himself at a police station on 13 September.
Corrigan admitted in interview that he had asked Johnson to buy a vehicle, obtain a weapon and act as the driver during the armed robbery.
Upon sentencing, Judge James commented that the armed robbery was meticulously carried out.  He also cited Corrigan's abuse of the day release system - which, he said, is important for the rehabilitation of prisoners - as an aggravating factor when considering sentencing.


Ricky Johnson and Neil Corrigan

Neil Corrigan and Ricky Johnson