Eight jailed after armed robbery trial ends

THREE men from Weston at the centre of an armed robbery plot in the town have begun prison sentences totalling 26 years this week.

Brothers Alex and James Fillingham, aged 21 and 23 respectively, and Jack Jones, aged 25, were jailed along with five other gang members at Bristol Crown Court on Friday.

It followed a complex armed robbery plan which involved a raid on a property in Mead Vale by four members of the gang, including Alex Fillingham, on March 2 last year.

Masked and armed with a shotgun, the four men threatened people inside before making off with cash, phones and computer equipment.

Judge David Ticehurst handed a 14-year jail term to Alex Fillingham, of Chesham Road North.

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The three other men who took part in the raid were Bristol-men Ashley Pritchard, 22, of Tudor Road, Jamie Viera, 24, of St David’s Crescent, and Leon Duncan, 25, of Chelsea Park. Pritchard and Viera were sentenced to 16 years in jail, while Duncan got 14.

Wesley White, of Wilder Street in Bristol, received a prison sentence for three-and-a-half years for handling the firearm before the robbery.

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Alex Fillingham’s brother James, also of Chesham Road North, received a 15-month prison sentence for assisting the raid.

Two other people, Marrissa Campbell, aged 23, of Norfolk Buildings in Bath and Jack Jones, of Brompton Road in Weston, joined the foiled plot several months later.

They kidnapped a Banwell-based business associate of the victims and held him in Bath before he was freed by police.

Jones was jailed for eight years and Campbell for four years.

Because of the complexity of the case and number of defendants, the trial took several weeks, beginning with a first hearing at North Somerset Courthouse last year.

After the sentencing, police Inspector Simon Wilstead thanked victims and people in their communities for help received during the investigation.

He said: “We can only achieve results such as this with the help of all our communities.

“I would like to thank the victims in this case for the bravery they showed in giving evidence.

“With their help and the combined efforts of the criminal justice system what we have seen today are some strong deterrent sentences handed out.”

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