Page last updated at 15:22 GMT, Wednesday, 27 August 2008 16:22 UK

Raids ended by 'leader's' death

Chandler's Ford robbery
Terrence Wallace is accused of being the getaway driver at Chandler's Ford

A gang of robbers whose crime spree ended only when its mastermind was shot dead by police followed a set routine during raids, a court has heard.

Reconnaissance trips were made before robberies and mobile phones switched off during them, the prosecution said.

The charges relate to security van robberies including one in Chandler's Ford, Hampshire, in which two alleged armed robbers died from gunshot wounds.

Four London men deny conspiracy to rob between April 2006 and September 2007.

Kingston Crown Court heard the group was led by Mark Nunes, 35, from south London, who was shot by police along with Andrew Markland, 36, also from south London, during the alleged raid on the HSBC bank in Chandler's Ford last September.

Jurors were told police had the bank and Mr Nunes under surveillance and acted when he pulled a gun on a security guard.

Mobile phone records

His accomplice Mr Markland was shot dead as he tried to pick up the weapon.

The court heard one of the four accused, Terence Wallace, 26, of Raynes Park, was the getaway driver during that raid but the other three were not present.

The gang raided at least 18 banks in the south of England during an 18-month campaign and netted 500,000, the prosecution claims.

They would hit Group 4 security vans as guards were transferring money to high street outlets.

The prosecution said mobile phone records placed the alleged co-conspirators at the site of the raids during earlier reconnaissance trips and showed they were in contact with Mr Nunes, the mastermind behind the raids.

Chief prosecutor Brendan Kelly said there were striking similarities between robberies in Gloucester, Cherry Hinton, Cambridgeshire, Colchester, Bath and Ipswich during the summer of 2007.

On all occasions getaway cars were used after two men grabbed or tried to grab a box containing 25,000 from guards while brandishing a gun.

Mr Kelly described how the mobile phones of alleged members of the gang would go dead some hours before the raids and only be switched on once it was over.

'Same pattern'

"It is the same pattern. We have seen it again and again and again," Mr Kelly told the court.

Prior to the start of the trial on Tuesday three men, Leroy Hall, Leon McKenzie and Brian Henry pleaded guilty to being part of the gang.

Mr Wallace, Victor Iniodu, 34, from Tooting, Adrian Johnson, 28, from Streatham Hill and Leroy Wilkinson, 29, from Streatham all deny conspiracy to rob.

Mr Johnson also denies separate charges of possessing a prohibited weapon and stealing a cashbox containing 25,000.

The trial continues.

Four on trial over 500,000 raids
26 Aug 08 |  England

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