Page last updated at 20:06 GMT, Monday, 27 October 2008

Hairdresser 'disguised robbers'

Securitas depot
The robbery took place at a Securitas depot in Kent in 2006

A make-up artist has told a jury the owner of a hairdressing salon recruited her to create prosthetic disguises for the robbers in the 53m Securitas raid.

Michelle Hogg said she was recruited by Michael Demetris for a make-up job and spent 10 days creating bald caps, fake chins, noses, moustaches and beards.

Mr Demetris, 32, and Paul Allen, 30, deny conspiracy to rob and conspiracy to kidnap in the Old Bailey trial.

The depot robbery in Tonbridge, Kent in 2006 was Britain's biggest cash raid.

Miss Hogg said she applied a fake nose and chin to the alleged mastermind Lee Murray, making him look "like Dracula" by giving him a widow's peak.

She said Demetris helped apply fake hair to another alleged robber, Keyinde Patterson, making him "look like a black Father Christmas".

Mr Patterson has not been arrested, while Mr Murray is in custody in Morocco.

'Nightclub brawl'

Miss Hogg said Mr Murray was a regular customer at Hair Hectik, the salon Mr Demetris owned in Forest Hill, south London.

She said she was introduced to him in 2005 and on one occasion applied some make-up to cover up a scar on his forehead which had resulted from a brawl outside the Funky Buddha nightclub in central London in which "he had nearly died".

Early in 2006, Mr Demetris started asking her whether she could make false noses and chins and, in early February, he asked her to take time off from her job in the salon and work exclusively on the prosthetics, she said.

The Crown claims the disguises enabled Mr Murray and Lea Rusha - who was convicted of kidnap, robbery and firearms charges in January - to pose as bogus police officers in order to abduct depot manager Colin Dixon, his wife and their young child.

The trial continues.


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