Over 23 years in jail for eBay gang who targeted DIY stores

Over 23 years in jail for gang who targeted DIY stores

Over 23 years in jail for gang who targeted DIY stores

First published in News
Last updated
Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Crime Reporter

A GANG of 10 from Hampshire have been jailed for a total of more than 23 years for the conspiracy to steal £110,000 worth of items from DIY stores and sell them online.

The Mastermind behind the plot, George Mason was jailed for five years this morning at Southampton Crown Court for organising and planning the conspiracy to steal and launder money.

Led by Mason the ten-month plot saw B&Q and Homebase stores targeted by small teams before they were sold on various online eBay accounts.

He recruited friends and family, including his mother and sister who have both sent to jail.

  • See below for who was sentenced to what >>

Passing sentence Judge Peter Blair QC Mason is "an arrogant, boastful 31-year-old who appears to have thought he was untouchable."

Two of the gang, who played smaller roles, Lindsey Daish and Amy Daniels escaped jail terms, with Daish being given a suspended sentence and Daniels a community order.

As previously reported they would fill trolleys up with goods and stash them in the garden centre of the stores where they could be later picked up by making holes in fencing or twisting razor wire.

On one occasion Mason and his accomplice even tried their hand at what the prosecution called “the sport of shower launching” where showers were thrown over the outside wall of the store.

The gang members played various roles in the conspiracy to steal and sell bathroom fixtures and fittings and Karchers products such as pressure washers before selling them online through several different Ebay accounts.

Prosecutor Andy Houston told the court yesterday that Mason, 31, of Meggeson Avenue, was the “player manager” of the team, which included his sister and mother, and would select himself and one or two others to travel out with him to the stores.

During the ten-month period between December 2011 and October 2012 the value of the stolen items was £107,479 but the prosecution say this is an “underestimate” and that the total figure is more likely to be around £110,00.

The court heard that most items stolen were sold on one of four eBay stores which were the focus of the money laundering limb of the operation.

The sentences handed out by the judge

Mason was sentence to five years after being found guilty of conspiracy to steal bathroom fixtures and fittings. He was given two years to run concurrently for stealing Karchers products; three and a half years in prison to run concurrently having pleaded guilty to conspiracy to convert criminal property relating to the bathroom products; eight months in prison to run concurrently for conspiracy to convert criminal property relating to Karchers products and another eight months in prison to run concurrently for stealing Henry and Hetty Hoovers.

Daily Echo: Jeremy French

Jeremy French, 39, of Burgess Road, Swathyling, was sentenced to two years for being found guilty of conspiracy to convert criminal property relating to the bathroom products.

Daily Echo: Michelle Moore

Michelle Moore, 46, of Violet Road, Swaythling, was sentenced to nine months in prison having been found guilty of conspiracy to convert criminal property relating to the bathroom products and nine months in prison to run concurrently for possession of stolen Henry and Hetty Hoovers.

Mark Bowers, 45, of Minstead Avenue, Southampton, was sentenced to three and a half years in prison having beenfound guilty of conspiracy to steal bathroom products.

Daily Echo: Caroline Kirkland

Mason's mum Caroline Kirkland, 55, of Violet Road, Swaythling, was sentenced to six months in prison after beingfound guilty to conspiracy to convert criminal property relating to the bathroom products.

Daily Echo: Amy Daniels

Amy Daniels, 20, of Bursledon Road, Southampton, was given a community order having been found guilty of conspiracy to covert criminal property relating to the Karcher products.

Daily Echo: Yvonne Banaghan

Mason's older sister, Yvonne Banaghan, 35, of Victoria Road, Woolston, was sentenced to two and a half years in prison having been found guilty of conspiracy to convert criminal property relating to the bathroom products.

Daily Echo: Ryan Vaughan

Ryan Vaughan, 26, of The Nook, Eastleigh, received two years and three months in prison having pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal the bathroom products and 21 months in prison to run concurrently for stealing Karchers products and two years in prison to run concurrently having been found guilty of conspiracy to sell the bathroom products.

Kevin Owen, 35, of Bursledon Road, Southampton, was sentenced to threes and a half years in prison having been found guilty of conspiracy to steal bathroom products and two years in prison to run concurrently for stealing Karcher products and eight months in prison to run concurrently for conspiracy to convert criminal property relating to the Karchers products.

Daily Echo: Lindsey Daish

Lindsey Daish, 20, of Bursledon Road, Southampton, was given an 18 month jail term suspended for two years having been found guilty of conspiracy to convert criminal property relating to the bathroom products.

Shelley Emm, 28, of Itchen View, Mansbridge, was sentenced to 14 months in prison for pleading guilty to conspiracy to steal bathroom products and 14 months in prison to run concurrently for stealing Karcher products.

Darren Mintram, 34, of Itchen View, Southampton, got two years and nine months for pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal bathroom products and 21 months to run concurrently for stealing Karcher products.

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