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Boom to bust Man who planned to remove ATM machine with blowtorch and gas jailed for five years

He had researched the theft by watching YouTube videos. He planned to pump a gas mixture into the ATM machine in a bid to blow it out of the wall.

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Stubbins was charged with causing criminal damage to an ATM at a Maxol garage at Carrigaline in Co. Cork

Stubbins was charged with causing criminal damage to an ATM at a Maxol garage at Carrigaline in Co. Cork

Stubbins was charged with causing criminal damage to an ATM at a Maxol garage at Carrigaline in Co. Cork

A man who risked causing a catastrophic explosion at a petrol station after planning to remove a cash machine using a blow-torch and mixed gases has been jailed for five years.

Evan Stubbins (24) was jailed after Cork Circuit Criminal Court was told the filling station involved had more than 30,000 litres of fuel in storage tanks – with one expert warning gardaí that the use of a blow torch and gas in such circumstances ran a serious risk of causing a potentially disastrous explosion.

Stubbins, of Church Road, Croom, Co Limerick, pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage to the AIB ATM at the Maxol station at Carr’s Hill, Carrigaline, Cork, on August 2 this year.

He also pleaded guilty to attempting to steal the contents of the ATM. Stubbins faced a third charge of possession of an explosive substance.

The court heard Stubbins was in debt and the attempted theft was a bid to raise cash to settle the matter.

He had researched the theft by watching YouTube videos. He planned to pump a gas mixture into the ATM machine in a bid to blow it out of the wall.

Judge Sean Ó Donnabháin said the incident could have had potentially appalling consequences for both the defendant and others.

“You put yourself and others in very serious danger,” he said.

According to experts, if Stubbins had succeeded in his attempt, he could have caused a major explosion.

The court was told that, but for the actions of alert gardaí, the incident could have had a terrible outcome.

During a previous hearing, Garda Jeremy O’Leary said he was on routine patrol with his colleague when they observed suspicious activity at the ATM at the service station about 2am.

Stubbins was dressed entirely in black. He had a screwdriver with which he was trying to prise open the ATM covering.

A VW Passat was parked nearby which was found to be fitted with false number plates.

Gardaí found a consaw, a crowbar, a blow torch and two cylinders of gas and air in the car which Stubbins had planned to use to remove the ATM from the wall.

The garage was closed but its tanks contained 30,000 litres of fuel and there was a house nearby.

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