Page last updated at 13:44 GMT, Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Heathrow robbery trial collapses

plane at Menzies cargo
The sacks of stolen cash have not been recovered.

The third trial in the case of an armed robbery of a cash depot at Heathrow Airport has collapsed after five months.

The February 2004 robbery at Menzies World Cargo netted the thieves 1.75m, which has never been recovered.

Judge Jeremy Roberts told the jury at the Old Bailey the move could not be avoided, despite an estimated cost of bringing the trial of 22m.

The four accused will appear next week to set a new trial date.

In the course of a major criminal trial like this one, events sometimes occur which create the risk of real injustice
Judge Jeremy Roberts

The reasons behind halting the trial and dismissing the jury cannot be reported.

Alleged robber John Twomey, 60, of New Milton, Hampshire, will now face his fourth trial.

Co-accused Peter Blake, of Notting Hill, and Barry Hibberd, of Shepherd's Bush, both in west London, will be tried for the third time.

A fourth man, Glen Cameron, of Kenilworth Road, New Milton, will be tried for the second time.

All four men deny charges of conspiracy to rob and to possess firearms.

During the raid, six masked men rounded up members of staff at gunpoint in what police allege was an "inside job", the court was told.

Jury thanked

Mr Twomey first faced trial in 2005 when proceedings against him were stopped for health reasons.

He was retried in February 2007 alongside co-accused Mr Blake and Mr Hibberd, but after the six month trial, jurors were unable to reach a verdict.

The third trial, this time with co-accused Mr Cameron, began in July of this year.

Judge Roberts thanked the jurors for their service.

"In the course of a major criminal trial like this one, events sometimes occur which create the risk of real injustice or unfairness to one side or the other and sometimes those events are so serious that the trial cannot continue.

"That is what has happened in this case. It wouldn't be appropriate for me to give you any further information about what has occurred."



Print Sponsor


RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific