05/03/2013 10:35 GMT | Updated 05/03/2013 13:29 GMT

'Fast Eddie' Maher Jailed For Five Years After Security Van Robbery

A man who spent almost 20 years as a fugitive in the US has been jailed for five years after admitting the theft of a security van containing £1.2 million.

Eddie Maher - known as "Fast Eddie" - had been wanted by Suffolk Police after the Securicor van he was driving disappeared from outside a Lloyds Bank branch in Felixstowe on January 22, 1993.

The 57-year-old, originally from Essex, was arrested by US authorities in February last year.

eddie maher

Eddie Maher spent almost 20 years as a fugitive

He had been due to stand trial for theft after being deported from the UK but today changed his plea to guilty.

Jailing him at Southwark Crown Court, Mr Justice Nicol said: "You made a very substantial gain even if, as you say, the money has now gone."

eddie maher

Maher's partner, Deborah Brett, leaves Southwark Crown Court

Mr Justice Nicol added that the crime represented a "very significant breach of trust".

He said: "The temptation to commit the offence must have been too great.

"It will be for confiscation proceedings which will follow in due course to decide quite how much your benefit was from this theft.

"You told the authorities after your arrest that you only received £40,000. Your wife has said it was about £200,000."

Maher's partner, Deborah Brett, and his son, Lee King, refused to comment as they left court.