Eight are jailed for total of 67 years after £33m Heathrow raid is foiled

The gang, which was foiled by police, tried to raid the Swissport cargo warehouse in May last year in what could have been one of Britain's biggest robberies.

Police believe that had the robbers from Berkshire and London succeeded they could have made off with £33m in gold bars, foreign currency and diamonds.

Jailing the eight at Kingston Crown Court, Judge Edward Southwell told the gang they had been playing for "high stakes" and were motivated purely by greed.

Speaking after the hearing, Detective Superintendent Barry Phillips, from Scotland Yard's Flying Squad, praised the "bravery and professionalism of the operational team" who thwarted the robbers.

Martin Nolan, 30, one of the main organisers of the raid, was sentenced to 13 years at an earlier trial.

His brother Steven,24, was sentenced to eight years for his role in the robbery and six months for aggravated car theft. Christopher Smith, 29, and James Fox, 31, were each sentenced to eight years. John Davis, 22, Derek Sheehan, 33, and Alan Larmont, 31, each received seven-and-a-half year sentences. Anthony Charles, 36, who drove the van, got a sentence of six years and nine months.

Police have yet to track down the inside man at Swissport who gave the gang vital information on the day of the raid. Philip Hillier, 37, of Stanwell, south-west London, was accused of being the inside man but was cleared by a jury.

The court was told that no firearms were used and that, although they threatened warehouse staff with batons and hockey sticks, they did not attack anyone.

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum