Robber held gun to security guard's head

AN ARMED robber held a gun to a security guard's head and stole £15,000 in a daring daylight robbery, a court has heard.Jurors at the trial in Kingston Crown Court heard a terrifying account from Group 4 Security guard Mark Bridges, who described how he was targeted when delivering money to Lloyds TSB branch in Nacton Road, Ipswich, last September.

AN ARMED robber held a gun to a security guard's head and stole £15,000 in a daring daylight robbery, a court has heard.

Jurors at the trial in Kingston Crown Court heard a terrifying account from Group 4 Security guard Mark Bridges, who described how he was targeted when delivering money to Lloyds TSB branch in Nacton Road, Ipswich, last September.

It was heard that the robbery was one in a string of identical raids by an organised gang on cash-in-transit vans across the country that netted £500,000 in just 18 months.

Adrian Johnson, 28, Victor Iniodu, 34, Leroy Wilkinson, 29, and getaway driver Terrence Wallace, 26, are all charged with conspiracy to rob.

In a written statement read to the court yesterday, Mr Bridges, who has worked for Group 4 Security for 16 years, said: “On September 7 [2007], I was walking across from the van to the bank and looking up, I saw a lad on a moped. My attention was drawn not to him, but to the black man standing next to him. He struck me as being a bit odd because of the clothing he was wearing - he had on a beanie hat pulled down past his forehead and a heavy winter coat, done up to the neck, even though it was a bright warm day.”

The court heard that Mr Bridges carried out one drop-off to the bank at 10am and was returning with a second cash box containing £15,000 when he was approached by the black man who held a gun at his head.

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Mr Bridges said: “He said 'Drop the box, drop it' and I said: 'Ok, ok' and dropped the cash box. The man grabbed it and ran off.

“It took a few seconds for me to register what had just happened to me. I kept saying to myself I have just been robbed.”

The court heard that after weeks of intensive surveillance, raiders hit Group 4 Security vans in Gloucester, Reading, Cambridge, and Colchester.

In September last year Flying Squad marksmen shot dead two members of the gang, Andrew Markland and Mark Nunes, after springing an ambush in Chandler's Ford, Hampshire.

The four other alleged members of the London gang, Wallace, of Raynes Park, Wilkinson, of Palace Road, Streatham, Johnson, of Abbotts Place, Streatham Hill, and Iniodu, of Derinton Road, Tooting, all deny one count of conspiracy to rob cash in transit between April 27 2006 and September 14 2007. Johnson denies one additional count of possessing a prohibited weapon and one of robbing Colin Frewer of a cash box containing £25,000 on November 20, 2007.

Three other members of the gang, Leroy Hall, Leon Mackenzie and Brian Henry, have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob.

The trial, which is expected to last seven weeks, continues.