A three-man gang from the Liverpool area, who blew up bank ATMs in Aberdeenshire and stole around £130,000, have been jailed for a total of 36 years.
Sentencing them at the High Court in Edinburgh today (August 5), Lady Scott told Robin Vaughan, Joseph McHale and Kevin Schruyers, they were career criminals with extreme criminal records and had employed highly dangerous means to obtain the money from the ATMs “means previously unheard of in Scotland”.
Vaughan was sentenced to 11 years, McHale to 12 years and six months and Schruyers to 13 years.
The men were found guilty after trial at the High Court in Glasgow in May.
The attacks on the banks began in August 2013 when the trio arrived in Scotland and stayed in a chalet beside the golf course at Cruden Bay.
They told the owner they were working in the oil industry.
They blew up the ATMs using a mixture of oxygen and acetylene, which experts said was extremely dangerous.
They travelled around the county in different cars and kept changing number plates.
Their raids were brought to an end when the police investigation led to Liverpool where a number of Scottish bank notes with the edges cut off to remove signs of the red security dye started to circulate in the Merseyside area.
McHale (38) and Schruyers (42) were convicted of blowing up a cash machine at the Royal Bank of Scotland in Turriff on September 18, 2013, and stealing £21,020; an ATM at Scotmid in North Deeside Road in Aberdeen and taking £112,000; blowing up four ATMs in Ellon, Stonehaven and Aberdeen and attempting to steal from them; stealing clothing and money from a shop at the Paul Lawrie Centre and attempting to break into a cash machine in Mintlaw with a crowbar.
Vaughan (43) admitted blowing the ATMs at Turriff and North Deeside Road.