Infamous Securitas heist robber claims ‘it didn’t hurt when I was shot 6 times’
In February 2006, a heavily armed gang raided the Securitas depot in Tonbridge, Kent, and made off with almost £53 million in used banknotes belonging to Barclays Bank. The raid remains the UK's largest cash heist.
But Paul Allen, 45, one of seven people jailed in connection with the daring robbery, tells the Daily Star that it wasn’t worth it.
“When you are involved in a high level of criminality it never ends well,” he says.
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“It always ends in tears," Paul adds. "You will either end up in prison for the rest of your life, very seriously injured like me, or worse still even dead”.
After serving two years in a “hellhole” Moroccan prison and a further eight in maximum security jails in the UK alongside high-profile lags such as Charles Bronson and Abu Hamza, Paul was shot six times through the window of a £1.2million house he was renting in Woodford Green, north-east London.
He was left gravely injured with one bullet penetrating his throat at the house, owned by comedian Russell Kane.
His life was only saved by a security guard, named Luke, who was patrolling the exclusive gated development at the time.
“It was a very nice area where we lived so the security guard was part of a company the patrolled the area at night,” Paul told us. “So obviously [he] heard the gunshots along with some neighbours and came to my aid”.
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Incredibly, Paul says he felt little pain at first: “It didn’t hurt when I was shot,” he said. “I was shot six times – one of the bullets hitting me in the neck and lodging in my spine severing the spinal cord instantly paralysing me, and another one hitting me in the hand and taking my little finger off.
The bullet that struck Paul’s hand also severely damaged his thumb, but surgeons were later able to save it.
Paul stresses that the shooting – for which eight people were later arrested – had nothing to do with the Securitas robbery.
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He spent around six months in hospital after the shooting – three months in the Royal London where he was first taken after the incident, and a further three at the specialist London Spinal Cord Injury Centre in Stanmore.
Not long after being discharged from Stanmore, he was recalled to prison over a suspected breach of his licence conditions.
Paul had failed to declare that he had a passport “and a number of other petty conditions they say I breached”, he explained.
He describes the re-arrest as “Basically a stitch-up”.
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“I was the victim of a very serious assault and ended up in prison myself," he says.
Paul says it’s “unheard of” for someone suffering from such serious injuries to be imprisoned.
“They sent nurses in to HMP Pentonville healthcare unit to teach the staff how to deal with a spinal injury,” he says, describing the decision to jail him as “absolute madness”.
He spent six “nightmare” months behind bars, and says he’s planning legal action against whoever was behind the decision to lock up a paralysed man.
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Paul, a former cage fighter who led a very active life before the horrific shooting, is doing everything he can to stay healthy.
“I am still having intense physio and I am still somehow managing to push heavy weights in the gym which is one of the things that is keeping me going,” he says.
Although, he admits, “my mental health is all over the place”.
Despite being told he may never walk again he remains hopeful – saying “there is a lot going on behind closed doors when it comes to technology so who knows? maybe one day…”
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