Ram raid gang in court

PUBLISHED: 10:48 22 September 2006 | UPDATED: 12:02 04 May 2010

TRAVELLER Rocky Buckley and his gang netted £500,000 in ram raids and targeted stores across East Cambridgeshire in a year of terror. The raids also left a repair bill of £500,000 as the gang ripped cash machines out of stores. Buckley took a share of £28

TRAVELLER Rocky Buckley and his gang netted £500,000 in ram raids and targeted stores across East Cambridgeshire in a year of terror.

The raids also left a repair bill of £500,000 as the gang ripped cash machines out of stores.

Buckley took a share of £28,000 from a cash machine at the Spar store in Haddenham during a ram raid because "money was tight".

The machine was dragged out of the shop and driven to Essex where it took just 10 minutes to cut it open.

The money was divided equally between Buckley and three other men and he gave some of his share to a relative and spent the rest, he told Ipswich Crown Court.

He also targeted Co-op stores in Soham, Isleham, Fordham and Burwell after telling the court he began his career of crime because he needed extra cash.

On Tuesday, he was convicted of his involvement in the string of armed robberies. Buckley had admitted being involved in conspiracy to commit burglaries and aggravated burglaries, but had denied conspiracy to commit robberies and armed robberies. The trial came to a surprise conclusion when the defence offered no further evidence.

Buckley, of Meadow Road, Willingham was arrested by detectives investigating 25 raids on shops, post offices and filling stations across Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Essex and Norfolk.

During his defence last week he had told the court that, while he took part in the Haddenham raid in October 2004 and a number of others, he had not been the organiser.

His involvement had begun a year earlier with a ram raid in Cottenham. Asked why he had agreed to join the raid, Buckley told the court: "Money was tight, things were rough. I needed some extra cash."

Buckley and five other men arrested in connection with the offences will be sentenced later.

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