Robbers seized after filming 'selfies' with guns, setting up a group called Armed Robbers and being caught out with sheep pyjamas
CCTV of the robbery... with the distinctive pyjamas
A gang of robbers were not the brighest sparks in the box... after setting up a Blackberry Messenger group called Armed Robbers and filming 'selfies' with a handgun.
One even raided a firm wearing pyjama bottoms with cartoon sheep on... and kept a picture of himself on his phone wearing the same trousers.
Now the foursome are facing a long stretch... and the possibility of wearing prison uniforms instead of sheep nightwear.
Maidstone Crown Court heard today the four were part of an armed gang targeting small businesses in Kent, Sussex and LIncolnshire.
Thomas Balderston, of Ernest Road, Chatham, and Christopher Aldred, of Mayford Road, Chatham, denied conspiracy to rob and conspiracy to carry an imitation firearm with intent to commit robbery, but were convicted today.
The jury of eight women and four men could not reach verdicts on Daniel Jarrett, 24, of Maida Road, Chatham, and the prosecution was given until November 1 to decide if there would be a retrial.
Christopher Heath and Terry Sullivan, both of Ernest Road, Chatham admitted the charges and gave evidence for the prosecution.
Judge David Griffith-Jones QC remanded Balderston, 24, and 23-year-old Aldred in custody and they will be sentenced on November 7.
Heath, 31, and Sullivan, 24, will be sentenced separately that week.
Christopher Aldred (left) and Thomas Balderston
Christopher Heath (left) and Terry Sullivan
Maidstone Crown Court heard how the masked gang terrified staff with knives and an imitation gun at newsagents in Larkfield, Maidstone, Chatham, Gravesend and Biggin Hill in 2011 and 2012, as well as a shop in Dover and champion dog breeders and a newsagents outside the county.
They brazenly created a Blackberry Messenger group called Armed Robbers and took photos of themselves, one showing them posing with a handgun.
When police examined one of Sullivan’s phones they found pictures of him wearing bright blue pyjama bottoms with cartoon sheep - the same as those worn in one of the robberies for a joke.
Robber shown on 'selfie' posing with handgun
Terry Sullivan, in a mobile phone picture... seen in the same pyjamas worn in the raid
Balderston’s phone showed internet searches into subjects such as the law concerning firearm offences, a gun control website and news pages about robberies on police websites.
During a bungled robbery at an isolated Bulldog breeders in Boston, Lincolnshire, a gun was pointed at the owners’ daughter and the trigger pulled.
But nothing was discharged from the weapon and the woman and her partner managed to fight off the men as they fled empty-handed.
But within hours they drove back to Kent and struck at a newsagents in The Alma, Gravesend.
Their movements were tracked through mobile phone evidence and automatic number plate recognition cameras.
The men will be sentenced at the beginning of November.
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