Court told curry house staff ‘tack­led raiders’

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - STU­ART GREER

HAVE-A-GO hero restau­rant work­ers wield­ing mop han­dles chased off a gang of rob­bers af­ter a raid on a bank, a court heard.

A trial at Chester Crown Court heard that raiders at the Poyn­ton branch of the Royal Bank of Scot­land were pre­vented from get­ting in the stolen get­away car by staff from the nearby Ap­payon In­dian restau­rant as they fled with £20,000 in cash.

CCTV footage played to the jury showed a group of seven staff con­fronting peo­ple emerg­ing from the rear of the bank.

In a state­ment read out in court, Chef Abdul Nur said: “Our boss ran into the kitchen and said ‘the bank is be­ing robbed’, so we all ran out into the back. I grabbed a mop han­dle.

“We thought they had gone. At that pre­cise mo­ment three males burst out­side from the bank car­ry­ing a large amount of money and what looked like tills.

“They paused, then ran right to­wards us. I started hit­ting one male. He dropped the money and tried to fight. I hit sev­eral times. We stopped them run­ning to the car and they ran off leav­ing be­hind a lot of money.”

In an­other state­ment read to the jury, Abdul Hai, a waiter, said: “I kicked out at one, hit­ting him in the back. Oth­ers used mop sticks. One of them hit one of the males so hard the stick broke.” In state­ments read out at the hear­ing, the court heard that on April 29, just be­fore 5pm bank man­ager Cather­ine Dal­ton was cash­ing up with Alison New­some, Dawn Daven­port and Nicole McManus when three men smashed their way into the rear of the bank and suc­ceeded in forc­ing them to hand over £20,000.

Ms Dal­ton said: “One of the males, who ap­peared in charge, de­manded ac­cess to the cash ma­chine and safes. There was lots of shout­ing.” Ms New­some said: “Through­out the whole in­ci­dent I was pet­ri­fied. They were ag­gres­sive and threat­en­ing.”

Ms Daven­port man­aged to get out of the bank and fled to the restau­rant for help ‘ab­so­lutely ter­ri­fied’, the court heard. Ms McManus said the ex­pe­ri­ence had left her ‘an­gry, vi­o­lated and up­set’.

The court heard that af­ter be­ing chased off by the restau­rant staff, the raiders fled to Oak Grove and car-jacked Peter Bailo, who was sat in his Re­nault van. In his state­ment, Mr Bailo told the hear­ing that one of them was hold­ing a metal bar and the other was hold­ing a Stan­ley Knife.

Mr Bailo said: “One of them said “f*****g get out or I’ll f******g kill you”.

The van then re­versed up the road and col­lided with a parked Mini Coun­try­man which had two chil­dren in­side, the court heard.

Paul Hughes, 31, from Liver­pool, but of no fixed abode, and Sean McNeil, 24, of Aller­ton Road, Liver­pool, both deny be­ing in­volved in the raid. They are both of ac­cused of two counts of rob­bery but deny the charges.

PRO­CEED­ING.

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