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Thursday, 9 November, 2000, 13:49 GMT
Eight remanded over Dome raid
Millennium Dome
The London attraction was targeted on Tuesday
Eight men have been remanded in custody over the attempted multi-million pound diamond heist at the Millennium Dome.

Six of the men were charged with attempting to rob the diamonds, belonging to De Beers, valued in excess of 200m on 7 November.

A father and son from Kent were charged with aiding and abetting the attempted robbery.

Security was tight at Belmarsh Magistrates Court as the men appeared in the dock and spoke only to confirm their names.

The six men charged with attempted robbery are:

  • William Cochrane, 48, of Catford, south-east London.

  • Market trader Raymond Betson, 39, of no fixed abode.

  • Terence Millman, an unemployed 56-year-old, of no fixed abode.

  • Robert Adams, an unemployed 57-year-old, of no fixed abode.

  • Kevin Meredith, 34, of Brighton, East Sussex, a charter skipper.

  • Aldo Ciarrocchi, 31, of Bermondsey, south-east London.

    They were also charged that they "put the staff of the Millennium Dome in fear of being then and there subjected to force".

    Bail refused

    Motor trader James Wenham, 57, of Tonbridge, Kent, and his son Lee Wenham, a 32-year-old mechanic, of Gillingham, Kent, were charged with aiding and abetting the attempted robbery.

    An application for bail by Lee Wenham was refused.

    Mr Cochrane, Mr Betson, Mr Adams and Mr Ciarrocchi - also face two allegations of criminal damage.

    The men were remanded in custody until 14 November but will not reappear in court until 7 December.

    The accused chatted and joked during the brief hearing.

    Broken cheekbone

    Mr Cochrane's solicitor, Michael Holmes told the court that his client had broken his cheekbone during the course of his arrest.

    "There was a collision between his face and some piece of equipment," the court heard.

    "He did suffer a broken cheekbone, his left cheek is somewhat swollen."

    Three others arrested in connection with the raid are still being questioned by detectives in Kent.

    The collection of diamonds targeted in the raid but replaced with crystal replicas at the last minute will go back on display "in the very near future".

    Negotiations are going on between the Dome and De Beers about when the real gems can be seen by the public again.

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