Page last updated at 19:57 GMT, Friday, 26 February 2010

'Reformed' Essex crime writer jailed for robberies

Adam Mapleson
Commuter Adam Mapleson was shot during one of the raids

A writer who claimed to be a reformed criminal has been jailed for a minimum of 12 years after being convicted of robbing security guards.

Terry Smith, 51, of Canvey Island, Essex, was found guilty of conspiring to rob and conspiring to possess firearms with intent to rob.

His brother Len, 52, of Dagenham, was found not guilty of the same charges at Chelmsford Crown Court.

The raids were carried out in east London and Essex between 2006 and 2008.

Commuter shot

Prosecutors alleged that the brothers were involved in attacks on security guards delivering cash to hole-in-the-wall machines.

Detectives estimated £250,000 was stolen and during one raid, at Rayleigh, Essex, in May 2007, commuter Adam Mapleson was shot and injured.

Jurors were told that Terry Smith, who wrote the book The Art Of Armed Robbery, had previous convictions for armed robbery and had written a series of books in prison.

He had denied being involved in the robberies and told police that he was "reformed" and working as a writer and consultant for television crime programmes.

Smith was given an indeterminate prison sentence and told he must serve at least 12 years.

Brian Wall, 62, of Dagenham, Essex, was found guilty in June last year of causing Mr Mapleson grievous bodily harm with intent.

He was given an indeterminate sentence and ordered to serve at least 12 years.

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