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Man on trial accused of Ilkley jeweller's robbery bid
A man is on trial accused of taking part in a sledgehammer robbery bid at a jeweller’s shop.
Darren Pallas, 33, denies attempting to rob Rolex watch specialists Lister Horsfall, on the corner of Brook Street and The Grove in Ilkley town centre, just after 10am on June 6 last year.
Bradford Crown Court heard today that two men wearing black balaclavas and gloves and wielding sledgehammers attacked the glass door and a display window, smashing holes in the toughened glass.
They fled in a stolen BMW with false registration plates after staff activated an automatic security shutter system.
Prosecutor Louise Azmi said that a set of gloves found in the abandoned BMW contained glass fragments from the smashed shop window.
DNA on one of the gloves was a match for Pallas.
Pallas, of Cross Green Lane, Cross Green, Leeds, was arrested on January 24.
Asked where he was at the time of the robbery attempt, he made no comment.
Mrs Azmi said Pallas had pleaded guilty to a similar robbery in Rugby, Warwickshire, in September last year.
She said the raiders used sledgehammers, stole watches and fled in a BMW.
Mrs Azmi said there was no doubt that the Ilkley shop was the subject of an attempted robbery, and that the issue for the jury to decide was whether the defendant was one of the robbers.
Shop manager Sam Brown said the jeweller’s was targeted several months earlier when men with sledgehammers got away with watches worth thousands of pounds.
The court was told two men had been jailed for that offence and security at the shop tightened.
Mr Brown said he heard a loud bang on June 6 and saw two men in balaclavas hitting the door with sledgehammers. He shouted at staff and customers to get downstairs.
The robbers repeatedly struck the glass door and then hit the window up to four times. “But they seemed to be getting tired and losing the will to live,” Mr Brown said.
Sales assistant Emily Ward said glass was flying into the shop. The robbers made holes in the door but not big enough for them to get through.
She said they fled in a waiting getaway car.
The trial continues.