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Wednesday, 14 November, 2001, 18:36 GMT
'Dome diamond raiders' caught on video
Millennium Dome
Police had suspected there would be a raid at the Dome
An Old Bailey jury has seen video footage of the alleged bid to steal 200m of the world's rarest diamonds from an armoured vault inside the Millennium Dome.

The surveillance film showed four raiders using an earth mover to smash their way to the centre of the Dome, Martin Heslop QC, prosecuting, told the court.

The court heard how two of the alleged raiders, Robert Adams and William Cockran, went into the De Beers Millennium Exhibition armed with sledgehammers and a nail gun.

But the film also showed 40 specialist firearms officers lying in wait for the gang.

Millennium Star diamond
The men are accused of trying to steal diamonds worth 200m
Mr Adams and Mr Cockran were allegedly caught on camera trying to shatter the three-quarter inch armoured plated glass vaults containing the Millennium Star and the 11 Millennium Blue Diamonds, the jury heard.

Mr Heslop told the jury that within minutes the two raiders dropped to the floor as officers with torches strapped to their guns discharged white smoke grenades and asked them to surrender.

In the dock are Kevin Meredith, 34, from Brighton, East Sussex; Wayne Taylor, 35, of Tonbridge, Kent; Aldo Ciarrocchi, 31, from Bermondsey, and Mr Cockran, 48, of Catford, both south-east London; Robert Adams, 57, and Raymond Betson, 39, of no fixed address.

They all deny conspiracy to rob.

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