Brothers to pay back £1 each after pocketing £44k from smash-and-grab raids across East Midlands
Two members of a burglary gang who pocketed £44,000 during a string of raids including three on the Tesco store in Market Rasen have been ordered to pay back just £1 each.
Darren Winfield, 28, and his younger brother Ricki, 23, were members of a gang which was involved in at least 14 smash and grab raids across the East Midlands netting a total haul of £50,000 worth of cigarettes and cash.
The gang 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. They also wore gloves and balaclavas
The "well organised" group of up to seven burglars 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.
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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 on Thursday, March 7, heard the brothers each made a benefit of £22,000 from the raids.
But the hearing was told following an investigation into their finances neither of the Winfields had any available assets to seize.
Judge Michael 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 in prison 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 more than £4,000 worth of cigarettes were taken.
Five days later they raided the store again but their third raid staged 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 over Dunham Bridge 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.
Further raids were carried out on newsagents shops and supermarkets in small towns and villages across Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire.
Darren Winfield, 28, and Ricki Winfield, 23, both of Amesbury Circus, Nottingham, admitted conspiracy to commit burglary between January 9 and May 22 last year.
A third man, Philip Gordon, 30, of Gautries Close, Top Valley, Nottingham, had admitted a single burglary at the Tesco Market Rasen store on May 20 last year and was jailed for 18 months.