A “DANGEROUS” criminal who plotted to blow up a cash machine, had pipe bomb-making materials in his shed and was visiting a gun club after being banned for life from using firearms, is behind bars.

Ryan Edwards, of Beechfield Close, Garnlydan, Ebbw Vale, was jailed for more than six years at Cardiff Crown Court following a complex investigation by Gwent Police.

He was convicted of conspiracy to commit theft, possessing a firearm whilst prohibited for life and possessing an explosive substance for unlawful purpose.


The 34-year-old had already been sentenced to seven years in prison in July 2011 for conspiracy to commit robbery in Pembroke Dock. He and another offender stole an elderly couple’s life savings of £140,000 during that raid.

After serving his time for that offence, Edwards soon came to the attention of Gwent detectives after shell casings found at a Blaenau Gwent reservoir were traced to him, and he was arrested.

Detective Superintendent Alun Davies, the senior investigating officer in the case, told how they also discovered the defendant was using Glascoed Shooting Club and had planned to blow up an cash machine.

He said: “Edwards was prohibited from using firearms as a result of his 2011 conviction. A number of casings were found in a reservoir in the Blaenau Gwent area which were traced to him.

“This was a telephone-based investigation. We analysed his mobile phone and managed to unpick what he had deleted.

“He had searched online on his phone about how to blow up an ATM and had tried to have gas ordered to his house, but it was never delivered because the address registered for the card didn’t match his home address.”

South Wales Argus:

Detective Superintendent Alun Davies

Recent years have seen a number of cases of criminals in the UK blowing up cashpoints in recent years by pumping the machines with gas, which causes an explosion that rips off the security doors. A gaping hold is left, allowing bandits to plunder the money.

Detective Superintendent Davies added: “We found explosives in Edwards’ shed which, if assembled, could have made a pipe bomb.

“He had gunpowder taken out of fireworks, copper piping, welding equipment, material that could have gone into a device to create shrapnel as well as fuses, which had also been taken out of fireworks.”

At Cardiff Crown Court, Judge Nicola Jones jailed Edwards for a total of six years and four months - four years for possessing an explosive substance for unlawful purpose, and two years and four months for conspiracy to commit theft.


A one-year concurrent sentence was imposed for possessing a firearm whilst prohibited for life.

Detective Superintendent Davies said: “Gwent Police is committed to targeting criminals who pose the greatest risk to our communities.

“This was a complex investigation into the criminal behaviour of a very dangerous man.

“The sentence received by Ryan Edwards reflects the seriousness of his crimes.”