Bournemouth jewellers guard 'threatened with beheading in raid'

Franses jewellers Image copyright Google
Image caption The men threatened staff and members of the public at Franses jewellers, the court heard

A gang armed with a Samurai sword threatened a jewellers' security guard with beheading, jurors have been told.

The robbers stole items worth £600,000 from the Franses shop in Bournemouth in March, Southampton Crown Court heard.

Sasha Hines, 52, and Rowan McLaughlin, 31, from Bournemouth, 29-year-old Sophie Rivers from London, and Jonathan Oriba, 27, of no fixed address - deny conspiring to rob the shop.

Four others have previously pleaded guilty to the charge, jurors heard.

'Acid' threat

Tim Bradbury, prosecuting, said two men "terrorised" a security guard and members of the public while two others raided the shop in Westover Road at about 12:00 GMT on 14 March.

He told the jury: "The security guard was made to hold up a security grille under threat of a man wielding a Samurai sword, who said: 'I'll take your head off'.

"Members of the public who tried to take mobile phone footage were told, get back, get away, they had acid."

The jury was shown CCTV footage of staff and customers fleeing to safety as a moped was ridden through an internal door into the rear of the shop.

The film showed two men using sledgehammers to smash jewellery cabinets.

'False alibis'

Further footage showed the four men being pursued by police vehicles as they escaped on two mopeds.

Three of the raiders - Akil Ford, 27, of Powis Terrace, Westbourne Green, Shahid Sharif, 27, of Church Lane, Tooting, and Darrius Ingram, 26, of Oxford Gardens, North Kensington - have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob while a fourth was still at large, Mr Bradbury said.

Rhys Gregg-Ball, 27, of Hazel Grove, Sydenham, has also admitted the charge, the court heard.

Of the four on trial, Mr Oriba was involved in planning and organising for the London-based gang, the court heard.

Ms Hines and Mr McLaughlin, who were in a relationship at the time, allowed the gang to use their home in Knyveton Road, Boscombe, as a base, the jury was told.

Ms Rivers, of Church Lane, Tooting, manufactured false alibis for one of the raiders who was her boyfriend, and planned to share in the proceeds, Mr Bradbury said.

The trial continues.

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