Four out of seven members of a security van robbery gang whose leader was shot dead by police in Hampshire have served jail terms for similar offences, a court heard today.

The men are due to be sentenced for being part of a ruthless and violent mob who targeted security vans making cash deliveries to banks, netting £500,000 across the south of England.

Raids took place at 18 locations in Oxford, Swindon, Bristol, Bath, Cambridgeshire, Hampshire, Reading, Ipswich and Gloucestershire between April 2006 and September 2007.

The 18-month spree was brought to a dramatic end when a police marksman shot ringleader Mark Nunes and accomplice Andrew Markland dead during a foiled raid in Chandler's Ford, Hampshire.

Getaway driver Terence Wallace, 26, and other gang members Adrian Johnson, 28, Leroy Wilkinson, 29, and Victor Iniodu, 34, all from south London were found guilty of conspiracy to rob earlier this month following a seven week trial.

Three other men - Leroy Hall, Leon McKenzie and Brian Henry - pleaded guilty to being part of Nunes' gang before the trial began.

The previous convictions of all the gang were revealed at a sentencing hearing which began today at Kingston Crown Court.

Prosecutors said Hall, McKenzie and Wilkinson had all served lengthy jail terms of up to five years for previous cash in transit robberies.

Iniodu had also been jailed for five years for being part of a gang who broke into a flat above a building society and tied up the couple who lived there.

They then burst into the building society through the ceiling to try to rob it when it opened in the morning.

Between them the gang, including Johnson and Wallace, had a string of convictions dating back to the early 1990s for offences ranging from driving matters, drug possession through to robbery.

During the trial the court heard that convicted armed robber Nunes, 35, recruited members for the raids, which he carried out with meticulous planning, including reconnaissance trips.

Some of the raids were carried out with guns, some were not, and the robbers used violence against guards if they would not hand over their cashboxes.

But the jury heard that Nunes' ''luck ran out'' when he was gunned down as he held a pistol to the head of a security guard close to a branch of the HSBC Bank in Chandler's Ford.

Markland, 36, was also shot dead when he tried to pick up the weapon.

Judge Richard Southwell has told the court that he will not be handing down his sentences on the gang until Monday morning.