Duo jailed after taking selfies while committing crimes

Daniel Mervin William Hutchinson
Daniel Mervin William Hutchinson

Fruit machine bandits who were caught after taking selfies while committing their crimes have been jailed.

The men, formerly of Chapel St Leonard’s, roamed the UK breaking into gambling machines and were caught with more than a thousand £1 coins in their car.

Benjamin James Robinson

Benjamin James Robinson

Twenty-four-year-old Daniel Mervin William Hutchinson, now of Damon Avenue, Bradford,and Benjamin James Robinson, now of Harrogate Road, Bradford, 29, were sentenced at Bradford Crown Court yesterday, April 4 2016.

Robinson was jailed for 32 months, while his accomplice Hutchinson received a six-month sentence, suspended for two years.

They took balaclavas with them to disguise themselves during theft sprees - but came unstuck after they decided to photograph themselves celebrating, posing and grinning after pocketing the cash.

Detective Chief Inspector Matt Walker, of North Yorkshire Police, said: “We knew we hit the jackpot when we investigated these lemons.”

The men were stopped at around midnight on 27 June 2014 while travelling on the A65 at Gargrave near Skipton by officer working on Operation Hawk - North Yorkshire Police’s operation to target cross-border criminals using the force’s road network.

Their car initially failed to stop for officers, who had spotted it driving at speed.

Police searched the white Vauxhall Insignia they were travelling in, and found more than a thousand £1 coins in their car, £2,000 in notes, balaclavas and a screw driver.

They pleaded guilty conspiracy to steal offence at Bradford Crown Court on 23 November 2015.

DCI Walker added: “These offenders carried out a string of crimes with no thought for the businesses they were targeting - but ultimately their greed, arrogance and affinity for ‘selfies’ proved to be their downfall.

“We’re pleased that our operation to target cross-border criminals continues to disrupt the activities of offenders such as Hutchinson and Robinson.

“The investigation showed that they were targeting fruit machines around the country.

“It sends out a clear message that anyone travelling into North Yorkshire to commit crime will be caught and brought to justice.”