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Detectives are welcoming the sentencing of a Liverpool man to 17 years in prison for his involvement a series of ATM gas attacks, after he went on the run for seven years.
35-year-old Adam Murphy of no fixed abode was sentenced yesterday (Monday, 22 February) at Liverpool Crown Court following a trial, after he pleaded not guilty to the charges. He was convicted on Tuesday, 16 February. He received 15 years in prison for conspiracy to cause explosions and seven years concurrent for conspiracy to burgle between 30th January and 10th December 2013. Murphy also received 2 years consecutive for aggravated taking of a vehicle and causing serious injury by dangerous driving, a separate incident committed during his time on the run.
Murphy's sentence is connected to the previous trials in which seven men were sentenced to a total of 92 years in jail for ATM offences across the UK.
Murphy, with others, was a member of that gang and was involved in these offences which followed a similar pattern across the UK. Throughout 2013, his highly professional, organized and well-resourced gang attacked a large number of ATM 'hole in the wall' cash machines located in commercial premises around the Midlands, Merseyside and other parts of the North West of England such as banks, Post Offices and stores, blowing up the cash machines by making explosions and, often causing significant damage to the structure of the buildings thus allowing them to gain access to the premises and the cash machines and steal large amounts of cash from 28 actual or attempted attacks.
The cash stolen and damage done amounted together to almost £1.5 million. Services were disrupted for customers either temporarily whilst repairs were carried out or permanently because the costs of replacement of the ATM machines was too great.
Murphy was also sentenced to two years in prison for aggravated taking of a vehicle and causing serious injury by dangerous driving, an incident committed during his time on the run.
At around 2.15am on Monday 4 May 2015, Murphy was sighted in a stolen Audi S5 on Sheil Road in company with a female. He was pursued after failing to stop for police and continued at speed onto West Derby Road and onto Queens Drive, trough red lights.
Murphy was arrested in December on suspicion of all offences. He eventually crashed into a roundabout on Townsend Avenue and made off from the scene. The female passenger received serious injuries to her foot, ribs and nose which required months of treatment. Murphy was identified as the driver following forensic enquires.
Speaking after the sentencing, Detective Inspector Neil Fletcher said: "Murphy was the one remaining member of a serious organised crime group who thought they were untouchable and took huge risks in their criminal behaviour. It is very reassuring to see him finally brought to justice.
“Murphy and his co-defendants were reckless, using dangerous tactics to target ATMs which clearly put members of the public at risk. The techniques used by the men involved in these attacks were extremely risky and we are fortunate that no one was seriously injured or killed. In addition, Murphy was involved in a high-speed chase in Liverpool while wanted, an incident which again could have so easily ended in tragedy and left a passenger with serious physical and psychological injuries.
“The sentencing today is a clear message to those offenders who believe that they can avoid detection by committing crimes in different forces, and to those who look to evade the authorities. We are relentless in our pursuit of criminals involved in serious organised crime and there are no borders where finding offenders is concerned.
"Although Murphy evaded justice for 7 years, he could not run forever and will now have a significant time in prison to reflect on his dangerous and thoughtless actions.