Court told curry house staff ‘tackled raiders’
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.