Group terrorised New Malden petrol station worker while customers watched, court hears

Murco garage in Kingston Road, New Malden

Murco garage in Kingston Road, New Malden

First published in News by

Two Tamil men intimidated a Sri Lankan petrol station worker into allowing them to rob the shop of alcohol, toiletries and sweets, a court heard.

Hajendra Saravanababanantha, 26, of Streatham, and Kabiloan Venayakamoorthy, 22, of Lewisham, denied robbing Murco garage in Kingston Road, New Malden, in the early hours of October 15 last year.

The pair were among a group of four who allegedly arrived at the petrol station in a BMW and demanded to be let into the closed main kiosk, Kingston Crown Court heard on Tuesday, April 24.

The prosecution claimed the group were shouting and banging on the window in an aggressive manner, a claim denied by Mr Venayakamoorthy.

The jury heard how the group allegedly terrorised the shop’s cashier for half an hour under the nose of other customers who were paying for goods while the alleged incident took place.

CCTV footage shown to the jury showed that at one point one of the other members of the group attempted to scale the counter to get to the shop worker but was pulled back by members of the group.

The footage then showed the group raiding the store, with one member of the group allegedly asking the shopkeeper for a plastic bag to help load the goods into the car.

The shop worker did not file a report to police, or tell his manager, and was said to have left for Sri Lanka the day after the alleged incident, though this was never verified by police, the court heard.

After the group left, the worker was allegedly seen scanning items from around the store.

Under police interview, read out in court, Mr Venayakamoorthy admitted taking items from the shop including toothpaste, soap and deodorant, without permission but denied making threats.

During the police interview he also said the shop worker would regularly “let them take drinks and sweets”, the court heard.

Mr Saravanababanantha refused to comment during police interview.

Both deny robbery.

The trial continues.

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