A JURY in the trial of two teenagers who deny being involved in a plot to commit robbery has retired to consider its verdicts.
Paul Stuchfield, 19, and a 14-year-old boy are on trial at Carlisle Crown Court. Both deny one charge alleging conspiracy to rob on January 16 this year.
The prosecution allege both males were part of a prior agreement to carry out a robbery which did then occur at a Penrith town centre cashpoint at around 6pm on that date. The female victim was left shocked and suffered puncture wounds to her lower body after being threatened by a 16-year-old blade-carrying youth who – jurors have heard – admits carrying out that crime.
A girl has told the court she heard Stuchfield and the 14-year-old boy speak about carrying out a robbery in Penrith’s McDonald’s restaurant shortly before the crime took place.
But, giving evidence, Stuchfield, of Kirkoswald, near Penrith, told jurors there was no such conversation, insisting: “I did not conspire to rob.” And, when the 14-year-old was asked while giving his evidence whether he was part of the alleged robbery agreement, he replied: “No.”
This morning (WED), barristers delivered speeches to the jury of 10 women and two men. Prosecutor Alaric Walmsley said to them: “The only question is whether the robbery was planned or whether, as the defence would have it, simply (the 16-year-old) was acting on his own.”
After Judge James Adkin summed up evidence in the case, jurors retired to begin their deliberations.