A gang member, who went on a six-month £1m ram-raid crime, has been ordered to pay back nearly £6,000 ill-gotten gains after being branded a liar by a judge.

Paul Smith, of Hearmon Close in Yateley, was one of four men who used explosive gas and fireworks to break into cash points across the South East.

The gang also ram-raided Mercedes-Benz World in Weybridge and stole 60 Formula 1 trophies worth more than £600,000 from Red Bull Racing in Milton Keynes on December 6, 2014.

Around 20 of the trophies were later found dumped in Horseshoe Lake near Yateley 10 days later.

Video thumbnail, Ram Raid 2 (CCTV ONLY)
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Smith, along with Danny Stevens of Yateley, Jason Eastwood of Farnborough and Luke Cole of Doncaster, were all jailed last year for their parts in the raids, which started in late 2014 and lasted until April 2015.

Smith appeared at Guildford Crown Court on Friday (July 29) for a proceeds of crime hearing where he was ordered to pay back £5,900.

L-R: Jason Eastwood, Luke Cole, Danny Stevens and Paul Smith

The court was told Smith disputed the figure as he claimed a Rolex watch found by police in a caravan on April 26 last year did not belong to him but his partner, Anne-Marie Ward.

Giving evidence via video link from HMP Coldingley in Bisley, Smith said he had never owned a Rolex watch in his life.

Video thumbnail, Ram Raid1 (interview, cctv)
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He added he believed Miss Ward had bought it for her father but when they had an argument he gave it back to her.

In evidence, Miss Ward said she paid for the watch with her own money after "saving a little bit at a time" for about a year.

She said she bought it for her father as a birthday present but took it back when they fell out over her relationship with Smith.

'Absolute lie'

Miss Ward, who is on Jobseekers' Allowance of £74 a week, said she paid "three grand" for the watch at a travellers fair in Yorkshire on August 26, 2013, but had lost the receipt.

The court was told a Guildford jeweller had valued the watch at around £3,500.

Stephen Shay, prosecuting, accused Miss Ward of not telling the truth about how she acquired the watch.

“She’s on benefits and has no other income,” he said. “It’s unlikely she was able to save up to buy the watch in a year. The source of the funding was Mr Smith.”

Rob Harding, defending, said Miss Ward had given "credible" evidence about why the watch was hers.

He added £500 was also found in the caravan, which Miss Ward said was hers and was given back to her.

Mr Harding said Smith and Miss Ward had "done as much as they can" to give the court documentary evidence.

But Recorder June Venters QC said she did not find them credible witnesses: “I’m afraid people who lie can be just as determined as people who tell the truth,” she said.

The judge said that being on Jobseekers' Allowance, it would have been impossible for Miss Ward to save up enough money in a year to buy the watch and live at the same time.

“That was an absolute lie,” she added. “I’ve absolutely not a shred of doubt that the defendant and his partner are lying.”

The judge ruled the benefit of Smith’s criminal activity was £299,634, although the agreed benefit was £5,900, comprising the Rolex watch worth £3,500 and a car worth £2,400.