Page last updated at 13:56 GMT, Thursday, 7 January 2010

Matalan manager stabbed in robbery had 'swapped shifts'

Jamie Simpson
Jamie Simpson was killed in March 2008

The manager of a Matalan store who was stabbed to death during a robbery had swapped shifts to work that night, the Old Bailey has heard.

Jamie Simpson, 33, was not originally due to cash up the day he was attacked at the Hackney store, east London, in March 2008, jurors were told.

Simeon Jumah, Kobina Essel, Anthony Maina, and a teenager, 17, admit conspiracy to rob but deny murder.

Roy Williams, Jamal Chambers and Duane Owusu deny both charges.

'Fearsome weapon'

The court has heard the "ringleader" Mr Jumah, 25, of Manor Park, east London, had planned the raid with Mr Williams, 31, of Upper Edmonton, north London.

Aftab Jafferjee QC, prosecuting, said Mr Jumah thought up to £30,000 in takings would be available to steal.

It is alleged the gang was confronted by 19-stone Mr Simpson, of Herne Hill, south London, during the raid on Easter Sunday.

Mr Essel, 18, of east London, then stabbed him with a "fearsome weapon", the court heard.

'Inside man'

Mr Jafferjee said: "Originally Rachel Ryan would have been the late shift manager, the one who would be collecting the cash, but Jamie Simpson arranged with her on Good Friday to do a swap."

Earlier the court heard Roy Williams, a security guard at the store, was the "inside man"

Mr Maina, 20, of Canning Town, east London, and the youth, who cannot be named, entered the store to carry out the robbery, prosecutors have claimed.

Mr Owusu, 20, of Manor Park, east London, was the getaway driver, the court previously heard.

Mr Chambers, 18, of Poplar, east London, is alleged to have helped plan the raid.

The trial continues.

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