Masked jewel robbers 'caught by DNA on kidnap victim'

Masked jewel robbers 'left DNA on kidnap victim'

Masked jewel robbers 'left DNA on kidnap victim'

First published in News Surrey Comet: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

A jeweller was tied up and blindfolded as robbers ransacked his house and later drove him to his Cobham shop so they could steal jewellery, a court heard.

On the first day of a trial Guildford Crown Court heard four masked men smashed a patio door with breeze blocks to get to their victim.

Damon Denham, 27, and Stephen Evers, 42, are standing trial for conspiring to rob Mark Reid, 48, on October 14, 2012.

Mr Reid, 48, who owns Gordon Marks silversmiths in Cobham High Street, was at his home in Ockham at about 9pm.

He said: "I was lying on the sofa watching Downton Abbey and I heard a noise outside and looked out.

"The sensitive lights hadn't come on so I ignored it.

"Two seconds later two breeze blocks came through the window along with four men running through."

Mr Reid said he ran from the living room and upstairs in an attempt to activate a panic alarm in the master bedroom.

As he tried to close the door, one of the robbers who had followed him, put his foot in the door to prevent it from closing, he said.

Two robbers forced their way in to the room and tied Mr Reid's hands behind his back with cable ties, the court heard.

A pillow case was put over his head before he was led back downstairs as the robbers continued to raid his house, the jury was told.

Prosecutor Graham Smith said one of the robbers asked Mr Reid if he had a safe in his house and continued to question him, with one robber placing something hard on Mr Reid's leg.

Mr Smith also told the court the robbers asked about Mr Reid's jewellers in Cobham High Street but Mr Reid said he had not mentioned this before to the masked men.

Mr Smith said: "The keys to the shop were located and he was told they were going to take him to the shop to retrieve items of value.

"He was bundled in to his own vehicle and taken to the shop."

Once at the shop, the pillowcase was removed from Mr Reid's head and the cable ties were cut from his hands with a knife, the jury heard.

Mr Reid unlocked the shop and let in the robbers and as they raided the jewellers, using crowbars to open the shutters, he was able to escape and raise the alarm at the kebab van in Cobham High Street, he said.

Mr Reid said: "I realised no one was watching me so I legged it. I started walking gradually out but they couldn't see me because it was in the dark.

"They had light behind them so I could see their silhouettes."

After Mr Reid escaped, the robbers, who were described as men wearing dark clothes and balaclavas, fled before police arrived, taking with them £60,000 worth of jewellery and £6,000 of valuables and money from Mr Reid's house.

A crowbar recovered from the jewellers after the raid was found to have Mr Denham's DNA on it, the court heard, and a mix of Mr Reid and Mr Evers' DNA was found inside a pocket on jeans at the house where money was stolen.

Mr Denham, of Kingsbury Drive, Old Windsor, and Mr Evers, of Burns Avenue, Feltham, deny conspiring to rob Mark Reid.

A third man, Eugene Gunderman, 28, of Queens Close, Old Windsor, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob, with mobile phone evidence suggesting he was at the location of the house just before the robbery took place.

The trial continues.

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