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Five jailed for Lancashire robberies

Five men have been jailed for their part in two robberies in Lancashire. In one of the cases a Loomis custodian was shot in the leg as he delivered money to a cash machine in Blackburn.

Dean Farrell, 22, of Blackburn, was ordered to serve at least 11 years and David Evans, 20, also of Blackburn, was given 10 years in jail. Colin McCash, 31, Simon Ginn, 28, and James Mulholland, 37, of Accrington, were jailed for 10, 12 and seven-and-a-half years respectively.

Farrell and Evans, of Bonsall Street, were convicted for their involvement in the robbery on a Loomis security van as it made a cash delivery to an ATM machine on Preston Old Road in Blackburn in December 2008.

They ran at the guard, Imran Aslam, and demanded he hand over cash. He did.

“Then, quite callously and unnecessarily, he was shot in the leg because they were demanding he opened the door to the estate agents to get more cash," Det Supt Neil Hunter, of Lancashire Police said.

"He couldn't do that. As a result of their frustration they shot him. This has been a long and demanding investigation into an organised crime group who used unnecessary violence against security guards from Loomis and I am delighted with the result today.

"The cowardly actions of Farrell and Evans in particular were extremely wicked - they have callously shot an unarmed man who was unable to defend himself who was going about his normal business.”

The stolen money had been sprayed with a purple dye, mixed with a unique DNA marker when members of his gang robbed the cash weeks earlier.

When McCash paid for fuel at his local petrol station he had no idea it made him a prime suspect in two violent robberies - for which he would eventually be jailed for 10 years.

The notes had been washed several times, fading the dye. But the DNA, extracted from plants and modified, remained in place and could have lasted 350 years.

Using the DNA, the notes were traced back to the cash box involved in the robbery. The attack had triggered the dye and DNA to leak into the cash box covering £20,000 in notes.

Mobile phone and CCTV analysis then allowed officers to piece together the movements and communication of the defendants, before and after the robberies. That led to detectives providing compelling evidence linking the gang to the robberies, and their eventual convictions.

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