Cumbria Crack

Have-a-go jewellery store owner told staff during robbery: “I will sort this.”

The crime scene on the day of the robbery

A CARLISLE jewellery shop owner has revealed how he bravely tackled a violent robber who stormed into his premises.

Jurors at the city’s crown court today (TUES) watched dramatic CCTV footage of the moment an intruder with his face completely covered entered St Nicholas Galleries, Bank Street, at around 2-20pm on Thursday, June 6.

As shocked female employees and two customers looked on, long-serving store owner Craig Carruthers shepherded one worker out of the firing line, stating: “I will sort this.”

Giving evidence, Mr Carruthers recalled seeing a masked man enter a premises which had also been robbed earlier in the year, before vaulting the counter.

“He came towards me and I kicked out. He kicked me back and I looked at his hands,” said Mr Carruthers. “I looked at his hands to see if he had a weapon due to (the incident) previous. I just saw gloves and then I was hit.”

Mr Carruthers was floored by what he described as “intense” force which “felt like a knuckleduster”, and suffered a broken nose. But despite being dazed he picked himself up and, when he saw the raider grabbing at jewellery from a window display, lashed out at him with a set of small stepladders which were nearby. “I thought ‘he is not getting any more of my stock’,” he told the jury.

An accomplice carrying a small fire extinguisher entered the doorway and beckoned for the robber to leave, which they did in a Ford Fiesta with “screeching” tyres.

Two men who are alleged to have been responsible for the crime are on trial.

Daniel Burtak, 32, of no fixed address, and 36-year-old Ashley Entwistle, of Athlone Avenue, Bolton, deny robbing Mr Carruthers.

Both were stopped travelling south in an Audi on the M6 later that afternoon. Stolen jewellery was found in that vehicle – and in two other locations – along with broken glass which is said to match pieces found in the stolen Fiesta used as an initial getaway car.

The trial continues.

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