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Men accused of violently robbing Carlisle jewellery shop go on trial

The crime scene on the day of the robbery

TWO men accused of the violent robbery of a central Carlisle jewellery shop have gone on trial.

A jury at the city’s crown court heard today (MON) how brave attempts were made by several people to thwart masked crooks who entered St Nicholas Galleries, Bank Street, at around 2-20pm on June 6.

As owner Craig Carruthers – whose premises had been targeted previously – attempted to deter the first robber who went into the store with his face covered, he was punched in the face and suffered a broken nose. “It didn’t actually stop Mr Carruthers. He continued to resist,” prosecutor Antony Longworth told the court. “The lady assistants in the the shop also did what they could. The robber shouted to them ‘don’t you sound the alarm’. But they did.”

As that robber was bundled out of the store, snatching jewellery as he went, a masked accomplice approached the store with a fire extinguisher which he then used to strike a member of the public in the street who courageously tried to take keys from the ignition of a stolen getaway Ford Fiesta which was waiting outside the shop.

This was driven off by the robbers and abandoned in a nearby alleyway, where some of the stolen loot was recovered.

The prosecution allege that Daniel Burtak, 32, and 36-year-old Ashley Entwistle were the robbers. They were stopped while travelling in a Audi on the M6 southbound in South Cumbria just before 4pm.

Entwistle, the driver, spoke to police. Burtak initially ran off but he was captured and other items of stolen jewellery were found nearby. Both the Fiesta and Audi were said to have been driven from Bolton to Cumbria on stolen plates earlier that day, and were captured travelling along streets around Carlisle city centre before the jewellery shop raid on a “reconnaissance” mission.

Burtak, previously of Kaber, near Kirkby Stephen, but now of no fixed address, and Entwistle, of Athlone Street, Bolton, deny robbery. The trial continues.

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