Pair jailed for armed robbery at ASDA in Shaw
Date published: 17 August 2012
Two men who armed themselves with an axe to rob a security guard delivering cash to an Oldham supermarket have been jailed.
Jason Richard Butterworth (born 19/09/1978), of Higher Wood Street, Middleton, and Michael Ford (born 13/10/1977), of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to robbery at an earlier hearing.
Today, 14 August 2012, Ford was jailed for nine and a half years and Jason Butterworth was jailed for six years and eight months.
The robbery happened at about 9am on Friday 21 October 2011 as the Loomis guard was delivering cash to the ATMs at the Asda on Greenfield Lane in Shaw.
After dropping off the first cash box inside the ATM building next to the store, the guard was about to drop off the second box when he was bundled into the building itself by up to three masked men, one of whom was carrying a sledgehammer or axe-type weapon.
One of the offenders demanded the boxes be opened, and turned extremely aggressive when told by the guard he was unable to do so. At one point, one of the masked men threatened to attack the guard with the weapon, which the gang also used - unsuccessfully - to try and smash their way into the box. Another member of the gang shouted shoot him although no firearm was seen.
The guard was punched twice in the head, and although wearing a protective helmet felt pain. The gang then fled with one of the cash boxes containing hundreds of thousands of pounds and the guard activated his personal attack alarm, alerting the police.
It is believed the gang then tried to smash their way into the cash box using lump hammers after parking up near woodland on Hilton Fold Lane, Middleton. Intelligence led officers to the scene and several shards from the box, and the box itself, were later recovered.
A white latex glove with dye stains was also recovered at the scene, and forensic analysis matched the dye to the same unique dye pack within the stolen cash box. DNA also recovered from the glove was confirmed as Butterworth's.
A vehicle linked to Butterworth was seized, and from the boot officers recovered the axe-type weapon used in the robbery and latex gloves containing the DNA of Butterworth and Ford.
Butterworth presented himself at a police station and was later charged, but Ford fled the country on 21 December 2011, buying a one-way ticket to Alicante from Liverpool airport. However, when he returned to Manchester Airport in February 2012 police were waiting and arrested him.
Detective Inspector Jamie Daniels said: "These two men armed themselves with some sort of axe to frighten and intimidate the security guard into giving them access to thousands of pounds worth of cash.
"Understandably given the violent threats they made, the guard thought he was going to be seriously injured. Make no mistake, Butterworth and Ford are very dangerous men and the streets of Oldham are much safer now these criminals are locked up.
"The community of Shaw has suffered a lot of heartache in recent weeks following the tragic gas explosion, and has really pulled together in the wake of such awful circumstances. I know this robbery attracted a lot of anxiety at the time, so I hope for the people of this community that seeing two violent criminals brought to justice and locked up for what they have done gives them some peace of mind.
"I also want to pay tribute the officers themselves who have worked tirelessly to bring this case before the courts.
"To get to where we are today has involved exhausting DNA, CCTV and international inquiries by those officers, not to mention some good old-fashioned detective work. That perseverance has paid off and the two men responsible are now languishing behind bars, which is testament to the hard work of those officers who refused to let these Butterworth and Ford get away with what they did."
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