Men in the dock over terrifying raids at Halifax and Brighouse jewellery shops

Neimantas jewellers on Commercial Street, Brighouse.
Neimantas jewellers on Commercial Street, Brighouse.

A crown court jury has been shown CCTV footage of two terrifying raids at jewellery shops in Halifax and Brighouse last summer.

During the first attack on June 28 last year two female staff had a “handgun” pointed at them and were forced to get on the floor before one of the robbers smashed the display cabinets and stole items from the Kingston Jewellers premises in Old Market, Halifax.

Two days later a black Jaguar car was reversed into the window display at Neimantas Jewellers on Commercial Street, Brighouse, and two robbers were able to grab watches and jewellery before the vehicle was driven away.

The jury at Bradford Crown Court heard today (Monday) that two men had already admitted involvement in the robberies, but a third man 39-year-old William Cochrane, of West Parade, Halifax, has gone on trial on charges of robbery and possessing an imitation firearm at the time of committing an offence.

The prosecution has alleged that Cochrane went into Kingston Jewellers with an accomplice who pointed the handgun at the store manager and her colleague and told them to get on the floor.

In a statement read to the jury Sharon Ingram described how she felt “petrified” as the gun was pointed right in her face and the robber screamed at her.

She said glass was flying everywhere as the display cabinets were smashed and she thought she was going to die.

In her statement she also described how the gun was pointed in her face as she was told: ”Get down on the floor and you won’t get hurt.”

She said she was in so much fear she “covered up” as she heard the cabinets being smashed.

The court heard that the robbers were seen getting into a getaway car which was later found abandoned in Brighouse and prosecutor Clare Walsh alleged that Cochrane’s fingerprint was discovered in the outside of the driver’s door.

She said the jury would also hear evidence from a facial-mapping expert who had compared the CCTV footage with photographs of the defendant.

The jury heard that three men were involved in the second robbery at Neimantas Jewellers and the prosecution has alleged that Cochrane was the driver of the Jaguar car which was deliberately reversed into the window display at around closing time on June 30.

Three men were seen running away from the car in Siddal after the robbery and Mrs Walsh alleged that a discarded sock, which could have been worn by the driver, contained a DNA match for Cochrane.

Cochrane and the two other men were all arrested at a flat in West Parade on July 1, but in his police interview he denied having any involvement in either of the two robberies.

The trial continues.