Student had handgun in drawer at university accommodation, court hears

PUBLISHED: 07:00 06 March 2020 | UPDATED: 07:56 06 March 2020

Ipswich Crown Court   Picture: ARCHANT

Ipswich Crown Court Picture: ARCHANT

An Essex university student saw a man accused of a robbery in Colchester take a black handgun out a drawer in student accommodation, a court has heard.

James Cornford told a jury at Ipswich Crown Court that he was in a fellow student's room at University of Essex accommodation in Colchester when Tye Parker picked up the gun and tried to show it to him.

Mr Cornford felt uneasy and wanted to "get out of the situation" and when Parker told him to pick the gun up to see if it was real he held it through a duvet cover because he didn't want to get his fingerprints on it.

Cross-examined by Michael Stradling for Parker, Mr Cornford said he was positive the man who showed him the gun was Tye Parker.

Parker, 20, of Burr Close, Harwich, has denied robbery, aggravated burglary, two offences of false imprisonment, kidnap and blackmail.

Also before the court are Louie Charles, 19, of Wivenhoe Park, Colchester; Mubarak Jaye, 18, of Seward Street, London and Cuthbert Charles, 58, of Featherstone, Wolverhampton.

Louie Charles and Jaye have denied falsely imprisoning Minique Rivett, from Ipswich in March last year with Parker.

Louie Charles also denies an offence of blackmail with Parker.

He also denies kidnapping Laurel Aiken with Parker in March last year and Louie Charles and Cuthbert Charles deny falsely imprisoning Mr Aiken with Parker.

The court has heard that on February 19 last year Bruno Sardhina, who lived in Dagenham hired a Mercedes to drive to an event at student accommodation in Colchester.

While he was driving through Colchester a car pulled in front of him and he saw a man pointing a handgun at him from the passenger window of the car.

Three men got out of the car and in addition to one of them holding the handgun another was holding a knife.

Mr Sardhina was allegedly hit over the head with the handle of the gun and the men had taken his iPhone and car key.

The three men had then allegedly driven to Mr Sardhina's family home in Dagenham and smashed their way in through the front door.

One of the men allegedly held a black handgun against the head of Mr Sardhina's father and pulled the trigger.

"There was a click and it didn't fire. It is the prosecution case that the gunman was Tye Parker," said David Wilson, prosecuting.

One of the other men was carrying a Samurai sword.

It has also been alleged that Minique Rivett from Ipswich was held against her will for three days in the loft of a flat in London in a "botched" blackmail attempt after her mother ran up a drug debt.

It is also alleged that Laurel Aiken, who lived in the house in Tottenham where Miss Rivett was allegedly held against her will, was kidnapped by Parker and Louie Charles and held against his will at Cuthbert Charles's flat in Wolverhampton.

The trial continues.

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