October 24 2014 Latest news:
Freddy Mayhew, Reporter
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
A shop owner was killed when an armed robber “pushed” him under the wheels of a lorry, a court heard today.
Shammi Atwal had been chasing the man’s gang, who had sledgehammers and metal bars, from his business, jurors at the Old Bailey were told.
The six-strong gang threatened anyone in their path and assaulted Mr Atwal’s wife during the raid at Glenn & Co Cash and Carry in River Road, Barking, on October 14 last year, it was said.
They stole about £1,000 but prosecutor David Howker QC said the cost to the firm’s dozen or so workers was “considerably greater” when Mr Atwal, of Chigwell, was pushed under the wheels of a HGV by one of the six and crushed to death.
He told the court: “As they made their escape, some of the workers in the cash and carry gave chase.
“Shammi Atwal confronted one of the robbers outside on the pavement and he paid with his life.
“That robber, in order to escape and get away, pushed Mr Atwal into the path of a lorry that was driving along River Road.
“He went under the wheels of that lorry and was crushed to death.”
Didmantas Gonskoves, 26, of Grange Road, Plaistow, and 27-year-old Aurimas Diliunas, of no fixed abode, are in the dock alongside 25-year-old Deividas Sumskas, of Otley Road, Canning Town, and Edgaras Balezantis, also 25, of Tollgate Road, Beckton on charges of manslaughter and conspiracy to rob.
Farhan Sheikh, 39, of Thornhill Gardens, Barking, appears on a charge of conspiracy to rob while Reiniks Kivers, 29, of no fixed abode, has been charged with robbery and manslaughter.
Four of them are Lithuanian nationals; Sheikh is from Qatar.
The cash and carry sold beers, wines and spirits.
It took between £5,000 and £10,000 a day, with more at weekends. The cash was banked the following day.
Mr Howker told the court it might not have been a coincidence the robbers chose a Monday for the raid.
All the defendants deny all the charges.
The trial continues.