Garage raid gang jailed for 33 years

Four men, including two brothers, have been jailed for a total of 33 years for plotting an armed robbery where a Staffordshire garage owner was shot and beaten.

Garage raid gang jailed for 33 years

Four men, including two brothers, have been jailed for a total of 33 years for plotting an armed robbery where a Staffordshire garage owner was shot and beaten.

Amjad Khan was working late with four staff when the gang struck. They tried to steal a £30,000 Porsche and cash from a safe at Ikon Bodyz on the Astonfields industrial estate in Stafford in October 2009.

Alex Ponsonby was described as the "brains of the operation" by Judge Michael Cullum, who sentenced the 21-year-old to 16 years' imprisonment yesterday.

Ponsonby organised and co-ordinated the robbery involving his friends, brothers Sam and Andrew McMullan, aged 21 and 24 respectively, and fellow accomplice 31-year-old Daniel Martin.

Mr Khan, 32, was approached by two masked men carrying a sawn-off shotgun and a baseball bat outside the premises who demanded keys to the high-performance Porsche. He was hit on the head with the bat and dragged inside the unit, Mr Darron Whitehead, prosecuting, told Birmingham Crown Court.

His attackers turned the gun on his staff, forcing them to kneel at gunpoint as they heard their boss being battered with a baseball bat and cut with a knife. Mr Khan escaped despite almost being bundled into the boot of a car but was shot in the legs and backside as he ran off.

The gang made off with four mobiles and £1,500 in cash. All four were found guilty of conspiracy to rob by a jury at an earlier hearing, while Ponsonby, of Steelbrook Road, Solihull, and Martin, of Sherbourne Street, Birmingham, were convicted of having a firearm with intent.

Ponsonby was further convicted of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and attempted kidnap. They had denied all the charges.

Andrew McMullan was sentenced to six years' imprisonment, while Sam will serve five years. The brothers, both of Oldway Drive, Solihull, and Ponsonby will have to serve only half of their sentence in jail, with the second half on licence.

Martin was sentenced to six years which he will serve consecutively to a 10 years and six months jail term he is already serving for unrelated matters.

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