A GANG from Liverpool has been sentenced to a combined total of 21 years for a series of burglaries and robberies, including one offence in Knutsford.

Across the course of two months last summer, the gang committed 15 offences at homes and businesses across the north and the midlands, using vehicles they stole to try and cover their tracks.

A Knutsford home was targeted at 2am on June 30, when an address on Acacia Avenue was burgled.

Entry was forced into the property through a kitchen window, and a hand bag and car keys to a white Ford Fiesta were stolen.

The four men, all from Kirkby in Liverpool pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary, attempted robbery, and robbery, and were sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court on May 5.

Paul Ellis, 36, of Sennan Road, was jailed for eight years, Jamie Downes, 31, from Linsdale Crescent, was sentenced to eight years and four months, Lee Gallagher, 31, of Sandlewood Grove, was given three years and month, and Alan Daniels, 34, of Brookhey Drive, was handed a one year and seven months sentence.

DCI Simon Draco said: “Detectives and expert forensic colleagues painstakingly pieced together this crime series using evidence from mobile phones to CCTV evidence connecting the suspects to the scene of the crimes.

“When combined with the links to the cars stolen, which were used to facilitate further burglaries and robberies, all the evidence began to connect the same people to the 15 crimes. This was a complicated investigation which was beginning to fit together like an elaborate jigsaw.

“The successful result is a testament to the team of detectives and forensic staff working together to make sure those responsible were going to be stopped in their tracks and put before the courts." 

Investigating officer DC David Morgan said: “These men left their victims distraught and violated. Burglary has an immense effect on people with offenders targeting homes and businesses, a place where people should feel safe and secure.

“We will continue to target those who think they can come into Cheshire to commit crime. Anyone who sees suspicious activity should contact police on 101 to help us to prevent crime and support us in continuing to bring offenders to justice.”

Police & Crime Commissioner David Keane said: “The constabulary has a duty to keep people safe and protect our communities. I am pleased to see that officers continue to work hard to find and bring to justice those who break the law.

“I would like to thank all of the officers and staff involved in ensuring these criminals face the consequences of their actions and for the dedication and commitment that they have shown.

“I would like to assure the people of Cheshire that this type of action will continue, as the Constabulary works hard to make our communities safer.”

Other offences took place across Merseyside, Stoke, Gateshead, Warrington, Widnes, Yorkshire, St Helens and Derbyshire.