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Man jailed over ‘tragic’ Colnbrook burglary which saw co-conspirator die after being shot

Man jailed over ‘tragic’ Colnbrook burglary which saw fellow raider die after being shot

A burglar who targeted a caravan in Colnbrook armed with a machete, cable ties and fire accelerants has been jailed for 10 years.

Anthony ‘Tony’ Hearn, of Moreland Close, Colnbrook, pleaded guilty to the charge of conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary today (Thursday) and was sentenced at Reading Crown Court.

The 48-year-old was arrested on June 12 and was charged with the offence on June 15.

The offence relates to an incident in the early hours of June 12, when Hearn and another man, Wayne Digby, attempted to enter a caravan in a field next to the Colnbrook bypass.

The pair planned to steal from the occupants, with Hearn going equipped with a number of menacing items.

As they were attacking the caravan door, Digby was shot in the abdomen and died of his injuries.

Reuben Gregory, 72, who lives in a secluded caravan beside the Colnbrook Bypass, has pleaded guilty to the charge of possession of a shotgun without a certificate in connection with the incident and is awaiting sentencing.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Shearwood of the Major Crime Unit said: “There is no doubt that this is a tragic incident for all concerned which has resulted in terrible consequences, including the death of Wayne Digby and our thoughts are with his family.

“However it cannot be ignored that the incident began with a conspiracy to burgle from vulnerable occupants of a remote home and that the co-conspirators were prepared to use force to get what they wanted. Without that intention none of this would have happened.

“The sentence reflects the severity of the offence.”

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