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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 June 2007, 17:30 GMT 18:30 UK
53m raid gang 'kidnapped child'
Sketch of the eight Securitas robbery defendants
Seven men and one woman are in the dock at the Old Bailey
A young child was kidnapped at gunpoint by robbers posing as policemen to carry out Britain's biggest cash heist, Old Bailey jurors have heard.

The court heard the 53m raid gang waylaid the manager of the Kent Securitas depot and interrogated him.

Then they told his wife and a child he had been in a crash and offered to take them to his hospital bedside, but kidnapped them too, the jury was told.

Seven men and one woman deny charges in relation to the raid in February 2006.

The trial of eight people accused of involvement in the Tonbridge robbery got under way on Tuesday and is expected to last up to five months.

Sir John Nutting QC (Central News)
[The manager] was interrogated about the depot and about its security arrangements by men armed with guns
Sir John Nutting, prosecutor

Seven people deny conspiracy to rob, conspiracy to kidnap, and conspiracy to possess firearms. One person denies handling stolen money.

It is alleged the raid was carried out with the help of "inside man" Ermir Hysenaj, of East Sussex, who provided them with details of the layout and security systems.

Prosecution barrister Sir John Nutting QC said the gang used what appeared to be a police car and theatrical disguises to waylay depot manager Colin Dixon, stopping his car as he drove home, Sir John said.

"Mr Dixon was then taken at gunpoint to an isolated farm where he was interrogated about the depot and about its security arrangements by men armed with guns," he said.

He told jurors "a cruel ruse" was used to take Mr Dixon's wife, Lynn, and a young child from their Herne Bay home.

'Held separately'

"Distracted by anxiety", Mrs Dixon left for her husband's bedside "with those whom she believed to be sympathetic and kindly policemen", Sir John said.

But when they were in the car, guns were produced, he said.

"For much of the time, they were held separately, and were ignorant of each other's fate.

"There is nothing very courageous about kidnapping women and small children.

"The motive was greed, pure and simple."

Securitas depot
The 53m Securitas raid was the UK's largest cash robbery

And he said workers at the depot were told, "you will die if you do not do as you are told", with many still suffering mental scars.

He said the "fear and anxiety" felt by the workers - held for an hour before the robbers left with a lorry full of cash - was "significantly magnified" when they heard the manager's family had been kidnapped.

It is claimed Ms Hogg, trained in prosthetics, provided "expert" disguises.

Jurors were told by Sir John that five people were due to stand trial next year, and police are still looking for two others, in connection with the case.

Car dealer John Fowler, 58, of Elderden Farm, Chart Hill Road, Staplehurst, Kent; car salesman Stuart Royle, 48, of Allen Street, Maidstone, Kent; unemployed Jetmir Bucpapa, 26, of Hadlow Road, Tonbridge, Kent; and roofer Lea Rusha, 35, of Lambersart Close, Southborough, Kent, all deny conspiracy to rob.

Hairdresser Michelle Louise Hogg, 32, of Brinklow Crescent, Woolwich, south-east London; garage owner Roger Coutts, 30, of The Green, Welling, south-east London and Ermir Hysenaj, 27, a Post Office worker of New Road, Crowborough, East Sussex, also deny conspiracy to rob.

The seven have also pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to kidnap Securitas employee Colin Dixon, his wife and a young child, and conspiracy to possess firearms.

Signwriter Keith Borer, 53, of Hempstead Lane, Maidstone, Kent, denies handling stolen money.

The case continues.

Court hears that family was held by gang

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