Two Fenland men among those jailed for “cynical and violent” robbery which left elderly victims traumatised

PUBLISHED: 17:31 17 May 2013 | UPDATED: 22:12 17 May 2013

Joseph Upton

Joseph Upton

© Archant Norfolk 2012

FOUR men – including two from Fenland- have been jailed for a total of 54 years for an armed robbery.

Clockwise, from top left: Joseph Upton, John Smith, Albert Smith and Alfred Stanley.Clockwise, from top left: Joseph Upton, John Smith, Albert Smith and Alfred Stanley.

They attacked and terrorised two elderly brothers who had raised £113,000 following an auction of farm machinery.

A police spokesman described all four as “some of the most dangerous criminals in the region.

“Their imprisonment must come as great reassurance to the victims and public at large.”

Joseph Upton, 39, of Murrow Lane, Parsons Drove, and

John Leonard William Smith, 38, of Primrose Farm, Small Lode, Upwell, were each sentenced to 13 years and six months.

A court had been told of a high speed chase from Bedfordshire into Cambridgeshire and of the robbers’ stolen Audi 6 crashing in the village of Over.

Earlier the Audi had stopped in Fen Drayton where six guns, ammunition and a walking stick – all stolen in the robbery- were dumped.

During the attack one of the brothers was struck on the head with a scaffold pole and apart from the guns and ammunition they also stole £1,000 in old bank notes.

Passing sentence Judge Stuart Bridge said the men had carried out a “pre-meditated, cynical, violent and cowardly robbery”.

He said they had terrified their victims, both of whom had suffered psychological trauma.

Two others jailed for similar terms were Albert Smith, 37, of Potton Travellers Site, Beds and Alfred Stanley,35, of Sandy.

The robbery took place last October at a rural farm house in Bedfordshire.

The defendants appeared at Luton Crown Court on Wednesday having previously pleaded guilty.

The court was told that the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) led the inquiry after the brothers, aged 69 and 75, had been violently assaulted and had their lives threatened.

An ERSOU spokesman said the violence and threats against the brothers “was not at all necessary and done purely out of viciousness.

“The fact that six shotguns were stolen from the victims shows how dangerous these men are. Their intent to supply other criminals with the guns or to use the weapons themselves can never be overlooked.”

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