'Callous' gang of Cheltenham burglars jailed for almost 40 years

  • Watch: Daisy Gray's report

A 'callous' gang from Cheltenham who carried out more than 40 burglaries across Gloucestershire and Wiltshire have been jailed.

The group targeted post offices, jewellers and expensive cars, netting more than half a million pounds worth of goods between them.

David Benyon, 32, of Dinas Road, Ryan McCormick, 35, of Clyde Crescent, Josh Brammer, 26, of Clarke Way, Max Smith, 28, of Ruby Avenue and Sonny Curran, of Clevedon Square- were jailed yesterday (8 December) at Bristol Crown Court for a total of 37 years.

A sixth gang member, Jason Hawkins, 28, of Shurdington Road - who stored the gang's stolen cash and jewellery - received a 13-month jail term but was released immediately after serving all of his time on remand.

The damage caused to the post office following the ram raid. Credit: Gloucestershire Police.

The series of burglaries were carried out across a seven-month period inflicting "misery" on their victims, the court heard.

One incident was in the early hours of 29 August 2019 when the gang used two cars in an attempt to ram raid a post office in a village outside Cheltenham.

Detective Sarah Hume from Gloucestershire Police said: "The total loss of items that have been stolen is over £500,000 and the damage caused has been over £100,000.

"That nowhere near hits the sentimental value of the items stolen which will never be replaced."

Damaged caused by the gang at the Butwell & Jones jewelry shop. Credit: Gloucestershire Police

The group also targeted Butwell & Jones jewelry shop - which has since closed after the pensioner who ran it lost too much uninsured stock.

In court, sentencing Judge Michael Cullum said the defendants had "no compassion".

"I was struck that the gang - who were family men - acted with such callousness and little regard for others", he said.

Speaking of the damage caused to victims, he said: “There are many individual stories of the victims’ losses.

"Wedding rings from a first marriage were stolen, as was a trinket obtained after a bereavement of a spouse. Another felt compelled to move from their property which had been in the family for decades."

Five of the gang members were jailed for a total of 37 years and 4 months.

All of the defendants will face a proceeds of crime hearing next July when the court will assess what assets they have that can be confiscated from them.