Three cleared of plotting to rob Tesco Express cash van in Matson
THERE was uproar in court as three city men were cleared of plotting to ambush security officers delivering cash to a Tesco Express store.
As soon as the jury forewoman had announced the first not guilty verdict a large crowd in the public gallery began cheering and clapping.
The noise drowned out the proceedings as the defendants themselves whooped in jubilation and shouted thanks to the jury.
By the time the third verdict was given the noise of applause from the gallery was deafening. The defendants hugged each other as the spectators filed out of the gallery still cheering.
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The three defendants, Vincent Reese, 34, of Evenlode Road, Tuffley, Damien Jackson, 37, of Beaufort Road, White City, and Davey Margrett, 29, of Windrush Road, Tuffley, had all carried luggage into the dock in preparation for the verdicts going against them.
But the jury, which had been in retirement for just over nine hours, returned after the lunch break to find all three not guilty of conspiracy to commit robbery from G4S Cash Solutions between December 9, 2012 and January 1 this year.
There had been a heavy police presence both inside and outside the courtroom during the jury's deliberations.
During a trial lasting two-and-half weeks, the prosecution alleged that the three defendants were planning to ambush a cash delivery to the Tesco Express store on Painswick Road, Matson. Police had been keeping the trio under surveillance in the weeks leading up to their arrests.
According to the prosecution, defendants were seen making trips to the area of the store in the early hours of Monday mornings – the usual time for cash to be taken to the cashpoint machine.
But the defendants told the jury that their only intention was to ambush a man who had sold them a "dodgy car".
After the jury verdicts had been delivered Judge Jamie Tabor QC said he would be writing to police to congratulate them on "the extremely well-prepared case", saying that the surveillance work carried out had been "excellent".