Armed raider who carried out robbery in Holt sentenced

A member of a gang of armed raiders who has been convicted of two building society robberies – including one in Holt has been jailed for 11 years.

A retrial at Snaresbrook Crown Court heard that Craig Mason, 32, of Harrow Drive, Hornchurch, Essex, was one of a gang which carried out raids across East Anglia.

The jury found him guilty of a Brightlingsea robbery by a 10 to two majority and unanimously convicted him of the raid at the Nationwide in Holt on January 29, 2008.

Mason, who had denied the two counts of conspiracy to rob, had been remanded in custody to be sentenced.

Sentencing Mason to 11 years jail today Judge Wendy Joseph described him as a 'taxi driver' to the raiders:

She said; 'I am sentencing you on the basis that you were an active participant in the matters concerned, but it could be said you were not one of the men who went inside [the building societies].

'However, I am quite satisfied that you played a full part in both matters.

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'They were part of a long series of cash in transit robberies planned and carried out by a team headed by Danny Speed and Mark Richards an others were recruited on a shorter term basis.

'You were clearly one of those such recruited and were involved in only two matters.'

During the Holt robbery, when �81,000 was taken, the robbers had been staying at the Lawns Hotel and the court heard they later returned to the guesthouse bar to toast their success as the police sirens sounded.

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