A MEMBER of an armed gang jailed for his part in a terrifying £1.5 million raid on a Sheffield jewellers has been told he deserves every day of his 12-and-a-half-year jail sentence.
Benjamin Murphy, aged 30, went to the Court of Appeal to argue his sentence was “excessive” because not enough credit was given for his guilty plea.
Judges dismissed the appeal, pointing out he went on the run for two years before admitting conspiracy to commit robbery last year.
Judge Jeremy Roberts QC, sitting with Lord Justice Aikens and Mr Justice Irwin, said: “A defendant who chooses to act in this way cannot receive anything like full credit for a plea of guilty.”
The Court of Appeal heard the armed raid at UK Bullion on Ecclesall Road, in July 2007, was “professional and highly organised”.
The gang ram-raided the shop, smashing display cabinets to steal watches and jewels.
Murphy, of Mersey Road, Sale, Manchester, took part in the raid with his “ringleader” relatives Colin and Dean McCaffrey, aged 26 and 25, and also from Manchester.
The McCaffrey brothers are serving 10-year jail terms. Getaway driver William Rhodes, 44, of Tuffley Road, Manchester, is serving six years.
Murphy is believed to have fled to Spain after the robbery and was caught when he returned to Britain and police spotted him driving around Manchester. The gang carried out reconnaissance missions to Sheffield, using different vehicles to make it difficult for police to trace them, and wore white boiler suits to avoid leaving forensic evidence.
It took them just 60 seconds to clear the shop of almost all its stock but only £127,000 worth of jewellery has ever been recovered. The gang dropped some as they fled and earrings worth £6,000 were found during a raid at a house in Merseyside. The gang have never revealed where the jewellery went.
The McCaffrey brothers have been ordered to pay back more than £1 million under the Proceeds of Crime Act or face four more years in jail.