("I think it’s cool, but do you think the judge will find it as ironic as we do, Lee?")
It looks like Lee Murray will be behind bars longer than he thought.
According to a BBC report, the former UFC fighter who was named as the mastermind behind the 2006 $85 million (USD) Securitas heist in London had 15 years tacked onto his 10 year sentence today following a brief hearing in Rabat, Morocco where he has been held since being arrested in the North African country for importing drugs, whereupon authorities discovered he was wanted in connection to the UK robbery.
Murray fled England with right hand man and fellow MMA fighter, Paul Allen who was sentenced to 18 years in jail two years after being extradited back to London in 2007 when the pair were arrested outside of a mall in Morocco.
"Lightning" managed to avoid extradition because his father was a Moroccan national, but he couldn’t avoid the stiffer jail sentence he was handed down today.
In 2009 an escape plot by Murray was thwarted when a fellow inmate informed authorities that the British born fighter had a laptop with Internet access hidden in his cell. When prison authorities searched his cell they discovered a number of hacksaw blades and ascertained that Murray, who had been starving himself in an attempt to drop weight so he could squeeze through a narrow opening was attempting to escape by removing a few bars from the window.
Today’s hearing was an appeal, which means that the sentence will likely be upheld unless Murray’s attorney’s can come up with an apt reason to launch a second appeal.
Murray has already served more than three years and may have been eligible for early release if the Moroccan courts saw fit to let him out before his decade long sentence was up, but he will likely be behind bars for at least 15 more years.
He may want to think long and hard about appealing the sentence considering one of his alleged henchmen in the robbery who was originally sentenced to a minimum 15 years in prison in London with no maximum prescribed appealed his sentence last week and instead was given a set 30-year sentence.
Approximately $53 million of the stolen money has yet to be recovered and is rumored to be hidden by Murray’s relatives in Morocco.