A profoundly deaf man involved in a professional attempt to drag a cash machine from a Wirral store has been jailed for three years today.

Harry Meadows had been recruited by others to take part in the raid at the Co-op store in West Kirby and was the only one to be caught after the gang fled empty handed when the rope towing the heavy machine snapped.

Michael Woods, defending, said Meadows, 33, who has previous convictions, has never previously been to custody and had found his time on remand difficult.

He had been exploited by others in the gang and had not been involved in planning the raid.

He thought he would just have been able to steal items from the shelves after they broke in.

A steel saw was discovered in the criminal's stolen car found abandoned in Upton and Meadows was spotted by police in nearby Horton Road sweating profusely.

He claimed that he was on his way to visit his mother but when his hoodie was forensically examined more than 200 fragments of glass matching the shattered glass window at the store were found, said Graham Pickavance, prosecuting.

Meadows, of Dursley, Whiston, who sat in the witness box during proceedings so he could lip read what was being said, pleaded guilty to burglary.

Jailing him Judge Denis Watson, QC, said, "This was a planned enterprise with the target being a very valuable prize, an ATM machine."

Mr Pickavance told Liverpool Crown Court that about 3.30am, on October 13 last year, residents living near the Co-op in Frankby Road heard loud banging noises and a note was made of the registration number of a vehicle parked outside.

The police were called and located the abandoned vehicle and it was found that the steel shutter had been forced and glass in the window smashed.

Attempts had been to drag the machine, which may have contained up to £20,000, out of the premises.