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5 August 2015, 10:29
Three Birmingham men who robbed cash vans to fund champagne lifestyles have been jailed for 35 years.
The attacks, which took place between July 30 and September 2 last year in Birmingham, saw security guards threatened with Tasers and an angle grinder.
They also targeted a pub in Edgbaston, where the trio doused a customer in alcohol and threatened to set him alight.
West Midlands Police said Emmanuel Koryang, 22, Peter White, 25, and Lance Cotterell, 19, all of Birmingham, spent the money on designer clothes, a jet-set lifestyle and expensive drinks.
Koryang and White were jailed for 12 years for conspiracy to rob when they appeared at Birmingham Crown Court on Tuesday, while Cotterell was sentenced to 11 for the same offence. They were earlier found guilty at trial.
Detective Inspector Ben West said: ``The men spent their loot as soon as they got it on designer clothes and travelling the country on big nights out. CCTV footage from a club in Newcastle shows them throwing thousands of pounds around and splashing out on bottles of expensive vodka.
``It's clear from the level of violence used in the final robbery (the pub) that they were prepared to stop at nothing in order to get what they wanted and when faced with anything more than a lone van driver, their brutality escalated.
``The attacks on the cash van drivers - although well-protected and left with minor injuries - were not victimless crimes against large companies. The drivers, who are just doing an honest day's work often to support their families, have been left extremely shaken by what has happened.''