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Evesham hijack gang jailed for 99 years

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Nine men convicted of the gunpoint hijack of a lorry containing thousands of pounds worhth of PC equipment from Evesham Technology were sentenced to prison for a combined total of 99 years at Worcestershire County Court today.

Last Summer the gang kidnapped at gunpoint the driver of a lorry with £171,000 worth of Evesham Technology computer equipment on board (see story here). They set up an ambush by disguising themselves as policemen and waved the van off the road. The driver was then bundled into the back of a car and subjected to an eight hour ordeal before being released, badly shaken, by the kidnappers.

The nine men convicted (all from the Midlands) were: Terry Cutler, 33, of Telford; Philip Price, 47; Terence Devine, 38 of Walsall; Aaron Johnson, 19, his brother Simon and father Frederick Johnson, 43, all of Stirchley; Philip Dolphin, 40, of Telford ; Andrew Currie, 36, of Telford and Stephen Booth, 39, of Telford. The were convicted of offences including conspiracy to commit armed robbery, conspiracy to steal and kidnapping.

The ringleader of the gang, Terry Cutler, was sent to prison for 18 years by Judge Michael Mott.

Richard Austin, chairman and owner of Evesham Technology Ltd, commented: "We are glad that the people who did it were caught and that justice has been seen to be done-the police did a thorough job and should be congratulated for their work. We hope that the sentences are enough to deter others in the future."

"Although it hasn't affected the company in the long term, at the time it was only through the unstinting work of our staff that the potential problems caused by the loss of so many customers' orders was averted," he added. ®

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