A stolen car belonging to a Wolves footballer was used in a botched robbery in Kidderminster which left a police officer seriously injured.
The gang who planned to rob a security guard were foiled in their bid by members of the public who called police.
Judge Patrick Thomas QC praised a suspicious passer-by who alerted police after spotting the three men in the £70,000 sports car, which was owned by Togolese winger Razak Boukari.
Brothers Craig and Michael Stubbs and accomplice Jamie Barton were jailed at Worcester Crown Court yesterday after admitting their parts in the failed plan to rob a security guard delivering cash to an ATM at a convenience store.
After the three pulled up in a cul-de-sac in Stoney Lane, a woman called police as Michael Stubbs and Barton got out of the car and headed toward the rear of the Tesco Express.
Police soon arrived and one officer got inside the passenger seat of the white Audi RS5 before another officer, called Pc Jonathan Townsend, smashed the window next to Craig Stubbs and attempted to take out the keys from the ignition.
But Stubbs, who was on licence for a seven-and-a-half year prison sentence for a possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, slammed the car into reverse and crushed Pc Townsend against a police van parked in the lane.
Stubbs then went through some trees in resident Greeba Eveleigh’s front drive, hit her car and became lodged on a low wall.
Meanwhile, Michael Stubbs and Barton, who were wearing balaclavas and were to target a G4S security guard who had left an hour before, attempted to escape police while members of the public directed officers to them.
They dropped a Motorola radio and a claw hammer behind fences before finally being arrested in the drama on June 11 this year.
Craig Stubbs, aged 28, of Old Fallings Crescent, Low Hill, Wolverhampton, was jailed for 12 years after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery, inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent to resist arrest and two counts of assault with intent to resist arrest. Michael Stubbs, 26, of Higham Way, Fallings Park, Wolverhampton, was jailed for eight years and Jamie
Barton, 29, of Park Lane, Wolverhampton, was jailed for five years after both admitted to conspiracy to commit robbery.
At the court hearing yesterday, Judge Thomas QC praised the work of residents and passers-by and issued a £100 reward to the unnamed woman who first alerted police to the car.
Jailing the men, he said: “You were thwarted and caught because of the good sense and judgement of the public.”
Miss Lynette McClement, prosecuting, said three officers attending the incident – Pc Townsend, Pc Ian Heeks and Pc Robin Piper – had all suffered injuries while attempting to detain Craig Stubbs, but Pc Townsend was still off work because of his injuries.
Mr Anthony Bell, defending Craig Stubbs, said: “He is plainly remorseful and cross with himself that he got himself into this situation.”
Mr Bell said his client had acted in panic when police turned up in the cul-de-sac.
Mr Michael Anning, defending Michael Stubbs, said the defendant acted his responsibility in the failed plot.
Mr Nicholas Cartwright, defending Barton, said of his client: “He was a hard worker until made redundant six months before the incident. He was way out of his league. He’s generally remorseful.”
Pc Heeks, who first got in the car with Craig Stubbs, said in his victim impact statement he was being treated for post traumatic stress disorder, while Pc Piper said the incident had impacted him and his confidence. He is now suffering from depression.
Miss McClement also said the car had damaged the house of Mrs Eveleigh, as well as her Volvo. The family has had to buy a new vehicle.
After the hearing, Mrs Eveleigh, who called an ambulance and had to be treated for shock, said she felt ‘relieved’ by the sentencing.
The Audi RS5 was stolen from outside Boukari’s rented address in Wolverhampton.