Four men who rammed vehicles into shops armed with axes before stealing cash machines have been jailed.

The men have received a combined sentence of 35 years for the raids which were carried out in and around London during the spring of this year.

Kirk McInerney, 29, of Aycliffe Road, Borehamwood, Patrick McInerney , 37, of Lower Road, Denham, Liam Keenan, 40 of The Nightingales, Staines, and Benn Watson, 39 of Long Lane, Staines, were all sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court on Friday.

The group targeted a shop in Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire, on February 5 before three days later, they went for a shop in Farnborough, Hampshire.

A member of the public tried to intervene but was chased away by one of the men who was holding an axe above their head. A separate witness was able to grab the getaway vehicle’s number plate after bravely following them.

On February 12, in Hotspur Road, Northolt, the gang were attempting to load cash into their vehicle before police arrived. But the cop car was rammed several times and the group were able to flee.

Then on February 28, Clacket Lane Services in Westerham became the gang’s next victim before the group’s luck ran out on March 7 in Hounslow.

Just after midnight in Brabazon Road, Kirk and Patrick McInerney were arrested while they were carrying out another raid. Keenan managed to escape but was arrested a short while later in Stanwell.

Watson handed himself in on March 12.

Two cash machines stolen on February 5 and 8 were found in Bedfont Lanes, Hounslow on February 9.

All four men were convicted of conspiracy to commit burglary following a six-week trial.

Keenan and Watson were also convicted of conspiracy to steal while Patrick and Kirk McInerney pleaded guilty to the same offence at an earlier hearing.

Patrick McInerney, Kirk McInerney, and Benn Watson were jailed for nine years each while Keenan received an eight-year sentence.

Detective Constable Matt Hollands from the Met’s Flying Squad said: “These men showed ruthlessness and it is clear they were intent on using violence and weapons to ensure they were successful.

“They showed no concern for the welfare or safety of any member of the public, employees of the venues, or the police when they drove their vehicles at shops, doors, and police cars at speed.

“These four showed no regard for the law, and attempted to carry out audacious crimes with no fear of retribution.”