Jurors watch CCTV of raid and hear from staff threatened with death.
Jurors at the first day of the Graff heist trial yesterday were shown CCTV footage of the raid and told how robbers threatened to kill one of the store staff.
Graff shop assistant Petra Ehnar told Woolwich Crown Court in London that she feared for her life during the raid. The men, who had used professional make-up artists to disguise their looks, thrust a gun in Ehnar’s face and said she would be killed if she did not assist them.
Ehnar was forced to fill a black plastic bag with £40 million-worth of Graff jewels, including a necklace worth £3.5 million. The raiders then marched her outside the store with a gun pointed at her back.
Ehnar told the court: ‘I was so scared. I just waited for his instructions and prepared myself for what was going to happen.
“It is the most terrifying experience a person can be put through as you have no control over the situation you find yourself in. All I could hear was the man saying ‘if anyone moves, we will kill you’.”
During the raid shop manager Martin Leggatt was forced to lie on the ground and had a gun pointed at his head as the two men inside the store.
The court heard how the gang had attempted to rob the shop two days before the successful raid on August 6 last year. Plans were abandoned as two police vans drove past the shop on London’s New Bond Street store.
None of the jewellery stolen in the heist, which is estimated to be worth about £40 million, has been recovered.
All nine defendants have been charged with conspiracy to rob Graff jewellers, and two of the gang have also been charged with kidnap and possession of a deadly weapon. All defendants deny the charges against them.
The trial is expected to last 10 weeks.