3 jailed for cash machine scam

THREE young Romanian men have been jailed after they were spotted tampering with a cash machine in Letchworth town centre. The three had only been in England for a matter of weeks thinking they would find a better life. But on Friday Florine Buta, 19, Ser

THREE young Romanian men have been jailed after they were spotted tampering with a cash machine in Letchworth town centre.

The three had only been in England for a matter of weeks thinking they would find a better life.

But on Friday Florine Buta, 19, Sergiu Ojog, 20, and Razvan Dumitrascu, 22, were in tears as they stood in the dock as Luton Crown Court and heard Judge John Bevan QC tell them: "Your continued presence in this country is of no benefit to us."

The judge sentenced the three to 21 months in custody and said he would be recommending that when they have completed their sentences they be deported.

The judge told them: "You came to this country lawfully as citizens of the European Union, but the right to come here brings with it responsibility to respect the laws of this country."

Judge Bevan said all three had been involved in "planned financial crime" which had been on an organised basis.

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They had put a false face on the front of the cash machine outside Barclays Bank in Station Place, Letchworth GC.

The three were appearing for sentence having earlier been convicted at North Herts Magistrates' Court of possessing an article for use in fraud.

The three had been spotted on CCTV acting suspiciously on the night of November 29 last year. They were arrested moments after leaving the scene.

Inside a car parked nearby that the three had travelled to Letchworth in from their home in Larmas Road, London, police discovered a notepad containing a list of cash point machine addresses and the names of their manufacturers.

Matthew Nash for all three men said they had only been in the UK for a short time when the offence was committed.

He said they had come to England seeking better paid jobs, but at the time were all out of work

All three, he said, had wanted to return to Romania but didn't have the money for the air ticket.

"They were told by a man if they went and did this thing up in Letchworth they would be given tickets back to Romania. I have to concede it was a planned offence."

He added: "This was the first time they had ever done anything like this."

Buta and Ojog were each ordered to serve 21 months in a young offenders institute. Dumitrascu, because he is older, will serve the same period in prison.

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