Smash-and-grab raiders who pocketed £44,000 told to pay back just £1 each
TWO brothers who pocketed £44,000 during a string of "smash-and-grab" raids at shops across the East Midlands have been ordered to pay back just £1 each by a judge.
Darren Winfield, 28, and his younger brother Ricki, 23, both of Amesbury Circus, on the Bells Lane Estate, Aspley, were involved in at least 14 smash and grab raids which netted a haul of £50,000 of cigarettes and cash.
They were part of a "well organised" gang of up to seven burglars who hit shops and newsagents' stores across Notts, Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Lincolnshire before the brothers were arrested following a third raid in quick succession on the Tesco supermarket in Market Rasen, Lincolnshire.
They used stolen vehicles with false number plates to carry out raids in which they would hit stores at night, smashing their way in and scooping up cigarettes.
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Wearing gloves and balaclavas they got away with as much as £10,000 worth of cigarettes from some stores despite only being inside the premises for a matter of minutes.
Stores at Ilkeston, Nuthall, Toton, Market Harborough, Lutterworth, Skegness, Sleaford, Market Rasen, Little Eaton, Loscoe and Clowne were all attacked by the gang.
Darren Winfield was sentenced to three-and-half years imprisonment for his role in October last year. Ricki Winfield was jailed for three years at the same hearing.
A proceeds of crime hearing at Lincoln Crown Court yesterday heard the brothers each made £22,000 from the raids.
But the hearing was told following an investigation into their finances that neither of the Winfield brothers had any available assets to seize.
Judge Micheal Heath told the brothers he could only make a nominal confiscation order for the sum of £1 each and they would face an extra seven days imprisonment if the sum was not paid within 28 days.
"I'm told the benefit for both of you is £22,000. Neither of you has any assets; the available amount is nil and I make a nominal confiscation order in the sum of £1," Judge Heath told them.
The first of the three raids at the Market Rasen Tesco store was carried out on February 21 last year when over £4,000 worth of cigarettes were taken.
Five days later they raided the store again but their third raid on May 20 led to the arrest of three gang members.
Jon Dee, prosecuting, told the sentencing hearing that police identified two cars heading in convoy into Lincolnshire.
One of the vehicles, which had false number plates, was seen around the Tesco garage and soon afterwards the building was attacked.
Both cars got away but police were quickly at the scene and managed to stop a Fiat Panda arresting the three men inside. The second vehicle got away.
An earlier raid on the Co-op store in Sleaford was foiled when the manager, still at work after the store closed, interrupted the intruders and chased them off.
A Co-op in Skegness was raided in March with the raiders dumping their getaway vehicle at Donington, where it was later found burned out. Analysis of mobile phones belonging to the Winfield brothers showed that on the night of the raid they were both in the Skegness and Donington areas.
Both men admitted conspiracy to commit burglary between January 9 and May 22, 2012.
A third man, Philip Gordon, 30, of Gautries Close, Top Valley, Nottingham, admitted a single burglary at the Tesco Market Rasen store on May 20, 2012, and was jailed for 18 months.