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Fighter jailed for key role in £53m robbery

PUBLISHED: 13:44 03 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:59 25 August 2010

A CAGE fighter has been jailed for ten years in Morocco for his part in one of Britain s biggest cash robberies.

A CAGE fighter has been jailed for ten years in Morocco for his part in one of Britain's biggest cash

robberies.

Lee Murray, born in Plumstead in 1979 and formerly a resident of Sidcup, was sentenced on Tuesday in connection with the £53 million raid on the Securitas depot in Tonbridge, Kent, in 2006.

At the time of going to press, authorities in Morocco had yet to confirm the full charges of which Murray was found guilty, but Kent police believe the charges would be conspiracy to commit robbery, conspiracy to kidnap, and conspiracy to possess a firearm.

This comes after Kent police's bid to extradite Murray failed last June.

But since that hearing, Kent Police has worked with the Moroccan authorities to ensure Murray was held to account for his part in Britain's biggest cash robbery.

It has been reported that Murray was believed to be the robber known to detectives as 'Stopwatch' - the organising figure timing the heist crew's every move.

Depot manager Colin Dixon and his family were kidnapped at gunpoint by men posing as police officers to allow the gang to gain access to the Securitas-held cash.

Kent Police's senior investigating officer, Detective Superintendent Mick Judge, said: "I'm pleased Murray will now begin serving a significant prison sentence for his part in the Tonbridge robbery.

"Officers investigating the £53 million robbery have put six men before the courts in the UK and they have been sentenced to a total of 156 years imprisonment.

"We must not forget the traumatic experience the Dixons and the Securitas employees went through that night in 2006 - held at gunpoint and fearing for their lives.

"I'm pleased that Murray, who played a key role in the conspiracy to kidnap the Dixons and rob the depot, has now been held accountable."

Last October, 31-year-old Paul Allen, from Chatham, was sentenced to 18 years at Woolwich Crown Court after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery, conspiracy to kidnap and conspiracy to possess a firearm.

Five other men were sentenced in January 2008 to a total of 140 years imprisonment.

They were Stuart John Royle, aged 49, a car salesman, of Allen Street, Maidstone, Jetmir Bucpapa, 26, of Hadlow Road, Tonbridge, Lea John Rusha, a roofer, 35, from Lambersart Close, Tunbridge Wells, Ermir Hysenaj, 28, a post office worker, of New Road, Crowborough, East Sussex and Roger Coutts, 30, a garage owner, of The Green, Welling.

Some 100 police officers and staff were assigned to the case. Within two weeks arrests were made, vehicles and equipment used in the robbery were recovered and over £21 million in cash was recovered.

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