Two men sent to jail for explosion robberies at cash machines  

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Scene of cash machine attack at Co-op Food store in Cullingworth, Bradford (Photo: West Yorkshire Police)

Two men have been jailed for causing explosions and stealing from cash machines in northern England.

Stuart Penney and James Fairburn, both aged 37, were given sentences of 14 years and 12 and a half years respectively by the Leeds Crown Court this week after they pleaded guilty to charges.

They were involved in seven attacks on cash machines in Darlington, Bradford, Keighley and Huddersfield, as well as two burglaries, where the vehicles stolen were used in the crimes.

Stuart Penney
James Fairburn

“These men used dangerous methods to cause explosions in cash machines at petrol stations and convenience stores, not caring whether anyone was injured or seriously hurt in their series of reckless attacks,” Detective Chief Inspector Andy Howard, of YH ROCU, said.

The attacks between October 2017 and February 2018 saw gases pumped into the machines to cause an explosion, leading to thousands of pounds of damage to buildings and businesses housing the machines, in addition to more than £300,000 stolen from the machines.

“The explosive force produced was devastating and severely damaged the buildings housing these machines – a number of which were situated in residential areas, causing a significant impact on business owners and the community,” Howard said.

Scene of cash machine attack at Co-op Food store in Keighley (Photo: West Yorkshire Police)

Penney, of Celandine Close in Darlington, and Fairburn, of Low Moor in Bradford, were arrested in February 2018 following a regional investigation by the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Organised Crime Unit (YH ROCU). Thousands of pounds in cash and mobile phones were found during searches of their addresses, as well as evidence that both were living well beyond their means.