Thieves pay back just £1 after £44k haul

Two members of a burglary gang who pocketed £44,000 after a string of overnight raids have been ordered to pay back just £1 each.

Darren Winfield, 28, and brother Ricki, 23, were members of a gang involved in 14 ‘smash and grab’ raids across the East Midlands - including three on Tesco in Market Rasen.

The balaclava-clad gang netted a total haul of £50,000 worth of cigarettes and cash.

Last year Darren Winfield was sentenced to three and half years in prison and Ricki Winfield was jailed for three years.

This week, a proceeds of crime hearing at Lincoln Crown Court heard the brothers each made a benefit of £22,000 from the raids.

But the hearing was told following an investigation into their finances neither of the Winfields had any available assets to seize.

Judge Michael Heath told the brothers he could only make a nominal confiscation order for the sum of £1 each and they would face an extra seven days imprisonment if the sum was not paid within 28 days.

He said: “I’m told the benefit for both of you is £22,000. Neither of you has any assets, the available amount is nil and I make a nominal confiscation order in the sum of £1.”

The first of the three raids at Market Rasen Tesco was on February 21 last year when more than £4,000 worth of cigarettes were taken.

Five days later they raided the store again.

Their third raid on May 20 led to the arrest of three gang members.

Prosecuting, Jon Dee told the sentencing hearing police identified two cars heading in convoy over Dunham Bridge into Lincolnshire.

One of the vehicles, which had false number plates, was seen around the Tesco garage and soon afterwards the building was attacked.

Both cars got away but police were quickly at the scene and managed to stop a Fiat Panda and arrested the three men inside. The second vehicle got away. An earlier raid on the Co-op store in Sleaford was foiled when the manager, still at work after the store closed, interrupted the intruders and chased them off.

Darren Winfield and Ricki Winfield, both of Amesbury Circus, Nottingham, admitted conspiracy to commit burglary between January 9 and May 22, 2012.

A third man, Philip Gordon, 30, of Gautries Close, Top Valley, Nottingham, admitted a single burglary at Tesco in Market Rasen on May 20, 2012. He was jailed for 18 months.