Brothers are jailed for cash machine blast
Two brothers who twice attempted to blow up a cash machine at a convenience store have been jailed for 10 years.
David and Michael Culshaw, from Leigh, were caught on CCTV trying to tamper with the cashpoint outside the Spar store in Warrington Road, Risley, in late September last year.
And then just over three weeks later the pair returned and tried to use a gas cannister in a bid to dislodge the automated telling machine.
The brothers caused a significant fire at at the premises and were partially successful, according to police.
But they failed to secure any cash and were arrested a short time later.
David Culshaw, 49, of Rugby Road, and Michael Culshaw, 51, of Wilkinson Street, had been due to stand trial at Liverpool Crown Court after denying charges of causing an explosion likely to endanger life or damage property, and attempted theft from an automated machine.
But they changed their pleas to guilty - and were given seven years for the explosion offence and three-year consecutive terms were imposed for the theft bid.
Investigations by the fire brigade revealed that a tube from the gas canister had been pushed into the cash delivery slot and the gas had ignited.
The court heard while it was intended that this would allow thieves to grab the machine’s cash, instead it damaged the wider store.
Jailing the brothers, Judge Gary Woodhall said: “There are two sets of offences but they involve you targeting the same machine twice.
“Although there was planning it was clearly of an unsophisticated nature, involving carrying out searches on the internet on the phone.
“Uncontrolled explosions created danger to life although that was not what you intended.”
Speaking after the case Sgt Alison Howarth, one of the investigating officers, said: “The Culshaws believed that they were above the law, attempting and failing to steal money from the same ATM machine on two separate occasions.”
Police say the brothers had carried out the raids in a bid to secure money so they could wipe out their debts.
Det Con John Parry added: “Not only did they cause thousands of pounds worth of damage, but they also had a profound impact on other businesses and residents within the local area.
“The substantial sentence handed to the brother’s recognises this impact and send a clear message to offenders that (we) will pursue all lines of enquiry to detect crime that hurts the heart of our communities and puts innocent members of the public at risk.”