Wigan man blew up ATMs during £1m cashpoint raids

Alfie Adams
Alfie Adams

A Wiganer is facing a substantial jail term after he confessed to taking part in a string of cashpoint raids in which more than £1m is said to have been stolen.

Career criminal Alfred Adams, 39, from Platt Bridge, was one of two men behind consecutive attacks on automated telling machines in the East Midlands.

Several incidents saw Adams, pictured, and accomplice Charlie Smith, 31, use gas canisters to blast the machines from the walls of supermarkets.

Adams, of Millers Lane, pleaded guilty to six offences of burglary, three charges of causing an explosion likely to endanger life and theft of a motor vehicle in Nuneaton.

Smith, of Mere Lane, Bitteswell, near Lutterworth, admitted the same offences during a brief video link appearance at Leicester Crown Court.

Adams and Smith were remanded in custody to await sentence on April 13.

In the first incident, in the village of Cosby in Leicestershire, Co-operative premises were broken into, according to police, with gas canisters used to blast the cash machine from its mountings, in the early hours of November 21.

Another raid was reported to have taken place at a second Co-op store in Kettering, Northamptonshire, on the same day.

Detectives soon linked the two incidents with a third cash machine attack, this time at Tesco Express premises in Hinckley, Leicestershire, where neighbours are said to have heard an explosion before cash was snatched.

Police say that this was followed by a fourth raid at another Co-op, in Burwell, Cambridgeshire, which took place on the same day.

Adams was previously jailed in February 2016 for 40 months after he was part of a gang which stole around £2m worth of high-powered cars across Greater Manchester and Cheshire.

One of his associates was Lee Leatherbarrow, 27, from Ashton-in-Makerfield, who was also jailed for his role in the operation but went on the run for a number of months, after walking out of Kirkham Prison.

Adams himself has a history of absconding – he was the subject of a police appeal in 2010 after he failed to return to Kirkham.

He was partway through a 12-year sentence for a string of distraction burglaries across the north-west, imposed in 2006.