Fake rob­bery gang mem­ber told to pay back £1

Accrington Observer - - FRONT PAGE - JON MACPHER­SON jon.macpher­son@men-news.co.uk @JonMacMEN

AKEY mem­ber of a gang who con­spired to stage a ‘fake’ £192,000 armed rob­bery at a post of­fice has been or­dered to pay back just £1 in com­pen­sa­tion – after he re­fused to get out of his cell for the hear­ing.

Ja­son Yar­wood donned ‘CSI-style’ body suits with his brother Terry when they chlo­ro­formed and tied up Rish­ton post­mas­ter Mo­hammed Iqbal who acted as an ‘in­side man’.

The broth­ers made off Iqbal’s car, stamps and postal or­ders and cash dur­ing the ‘ care­fully or­ches­trated and seem­ingly au­then­tic’ rob­bery on June 5, 2015.

How­ever at a pro­ceeds of crime (POCA) hear­ing this week, Ja­son Yar­wood was or­dered to pay just a nom­i­nal £1 sum after pros- ecu­tors said that was the only ‘avail­able’ money he had.

He has been given three months to pay or face an ex­tra seven days in jail in de­fault.

Yar­wood, 41, of Pre­ston is cur­rently serv­ing a 34 month prison sen­tence and the court heard how he ‘re­fused to get out of his cell’ to at­tend the POCA hear­ing.

Pros­e­cu­tor Jonathan Dick­in­son said the value of the cash stolen was orig­i­nally worth £185,000 in 2015 but has now risen to £192,512.99 with in­fla­tion.

Terry Yar­wood, 37, of Ri­d­ley Road, Pre­ston, was or­dered to pay back £24,600 in com­pen­sa­tion within three months or face an ex­tra six months on his cur­rent 28-month jail sen­tence.

Iqbal, 34, of Maple Cres­cent, Pre­ston, could pay just £1,123.25 in com­pen­sa­tion or face three months in jail in de­fault. He is cur­rently serv­ing a 28 month sen­tence.

His de­fence bar­ris­ter Carl Har­gan told the court how Iqbal, who also re­fused to at­tend the POCA hear­ing, was ex­pect­ing to pay back around £700. How­ever this has now in­creased after a fi­nan­cial in­ves­ti­ga­tor de­ter­mined an­other £400 was seized from his ad­dress.

Mr Har­gan said: “My view is that Mr Iqbal will not dispute that that is the avail­able amount but I don’t have spe­cific in­struc­tions to sim­ply ac­cept the fig­ure.”

Judge Bev­er­ley Lunt said the £1,123.25 fig­ure could be agreed ad­min­is­tra­tively if Iqbal signed doc­u­ments ac­cept­ing the amount.

The POCA hear­ing for Avaiz Sa­mad, who acted as a ‘get­away driver’ for the gang, was ad­journed to Novem­ber 24 after a dis­agree­ment be­tween the prose­cu­tion and de­fence about how much he should pay back.

The court heard how po­lice seized £30,000 from two safes at Sa­mad’s home after the in­ci­dent.

How­ever Mark Stu­art, de­fend­ing Sa­mad, claimed that £3,000 be­longed to his fa­ther and £27,000 be­longed to his un­cle who also lived at the prop­erty.

Sa­mad, 24, of Black­pool Road, Ash­ton-on-Rib­ble, was jailed for three years after be­ing found guilty after a trial of con­spir­acy to steal monies.

All three other gang mem­bers pleaded guilty to the same charge.

From left: Ja­son Yar­wood, Mo­hammed Iqbal and Terry Yar­wood

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