Page last updated at 18:40 GMT, Wednesday, 21 April 2010 19:40 UK

Graff staff held at gunpoint by robbers was 'petrified'

CCTV image of alleged robbers at the store
The court heard the robbers used make-up to disguise their appearance

A woman held hostage at gunpoint by robbers as they fled after a £40m gems heist said she was "petrified", Woolwich Crown Court heard.

Petra Ehnar, a worker at London's Graff Jewellers, told police: "I was thinking I am going to be shot, killed."

The robbers, who used professional make-up to disguise themselves, forced employees to hand over jewellery, which has not been recovered, the jury heard.

Nine defendants deny conspiracy to rob the Mayfair jewellers on 6 August 2009.

Manager Martin Leggatt was spread-eagled on the floor with a gun pointed at his head and shop assistant Ms Ehnar was told to hand over several pieces of jewellery on display at the New Bond Street store, the court heard.

Subsequently she was taken hostage to enable the robbers to make their way to their getaway car.

I could still feel the gun being pushed into my back... I felt the men would shoot, I really did
Petra Ehnar, Graff employee

In a statement to the police, which was read in court, Ms Ehnar said: "I was thinking I am going to be shot, killed, I had no idea.

"It is the most terrifying experience a person can be put through as you have no control over the situation that you find yourself in."

Ms Ehnar said she grew more concerned when she was taken out into the street at gunpoint.

"This worried me because I could still feel the gun being pushed into my back... I felt the men would shoot, I really did," she said.

"The next thing I heard was the gun being fired and the noise was so loud.

"I realised I wasn't shot because I was still in one piece," she added.

Appearance disguised

Prosecutor Philip Bennetts said the victims were "the real centre of this case, not the value of jewels that were taken".

The jury was also shown mobile phone footage of the moment a shot was fired outside the store.

Aman Kassaye, 24, Craig Calderwood, 27, planned and executed the heist, entering Graff's and stealing the gems at gunpoint, Mr Bennetts said.

Mr Kassaye held Ms Ehnar at gunpoint and also fired shots when the robbers were approached outside the store and their actions were caught on CCTV, he said.

Clinton Mogg, 42, provided an innocent make-up artist to make Mr Kassaye and Mr Calderwood look as if they were in their 60s, the court was told.

The nine defendants are:

Aman Kassaye, 24, of no fixed address

Craig Calderwood, 27, of no fixed address

Solomun Beyene, 25, of Lilestone Street, Marylebone, north-west London

Clinton Jamal Mogg, 42, of Westby Road, Bournemouth, Dorset

Courtney Lawrence, 31, of Ladbroke Grove, west London

Gregory Jones, 30, of Elgin Avenue, Maida Vale, west London

Benjamine McFarlane, 22, of Paveley Street, Marylebone, north-west London

David Joseph, 23, of Flaxman Road, Loughborough Junction, south-east London

Thomas Thomas, 45, of Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames, south-west London

Mr Kassaye also denies kidnap and possession of a handgun and sawn-off shotgun.

Mr Calderwood also denies possessing a handgun and sawn-off shotgun.

The trial continues.



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