A moped gang armed with Samurai swords, a sledgehammer and an axe rammed a stolen car into a high-end jewellery store before stabbing a heroic passer-by when he tried to stop them, a court heard.
Miguel St Martin, 21, Harry Doyle, 18, Reece Salmon, 22, and Alfie Warry, 21, are all accused of being part of the gang that carried out raids at Boodles jewellery store and Yves Saint Laurent in Mayfair.
Builder Petar Dimov, who was working at a site opposite the store in London, ran across the road to intervene before he was set upon by the gang, jurors heard.
Mr Dimov was slashed across the knees with a sword and stabbed in the back, leaving him with a permanent limp and battling a lung infection.
A video grab of the inside of the jewellery store Boodles shows terrified staff fleeing as the car crashes into the shop front
The gang rammed a stolen car into a luxury jewellery store before stabbing a have-a-go hero who tried to stop them
Miguel St Martin, 21, Harry Doyle, 18, Reece Salmon, 22, and Alfie Warry, 21, are all accused of being part of the gang
Miguel St Martin was the ‘mastermind’ behind the raids which took place at Boodles on March 26 this year and Yves St Laurent on April 24, Blackfriars Crown Court heard.
Prosecutor Michael Shaw told the court five gang members dressed in black and crash helmets targeted Boodles in Sloane Street, Knightsbridge.
Mr Shaw said the gang were armed with a deadly arsenal of weapons including axes, hammers and Samurai swords and arrived on mopeds and with a stolen Land Rover.
He said they attempted to use the Land Rover to smash into the side of the store before using a sledge hammer when that failed.
Mr Dimov told jurors how he grappled with one gang member outside Boodles before the others piled in.
Mr Shaw said: ‘Having attacked Mr Dimov they jumped back on their motorbikes leaving the Land Rover abandoned and rode back to Islington from where they all originate.’
This CCTV footage shows the moment a moped gang used a stolen car to attempt to smash into the luxury jewellery store Boodles
The prosecutor said: ‘Yves Saint Laurent is further down Sloane Street. When the store was shut, again two mopeds with four men on them, all dressed in black, arrived and smashed their way into the store. They stripped the store of about £85,000 of hand bags.’
Jurors saw footage from the inside of the store in which two men dressed in black lift up the shutters, smash their way through the door and dash around the store nabbing expensive bags.
CCTV from inside the store shows the gang looting Yves Saint Laurent in London’s West End
Mr Dimov, who moved to Britain from Bulgaria 15 years ago, said he noticed the gang ‘slowly’ approach the shop on mopeds with covered number plates, before the Land Rover ploughed into the building.
In a statement read to the jury, he said: ‘The next thing one of the men was running at me with what I thought was a metal bar but now know was a sword.
‘I grappled with this male but was then attacked by more men who hit me with an axe. I was taken to hospital in an ambulance where I was treated for a stab wound in my back and a deep gash across my right knee.’
Jurors heard the wounds left him with regular pain, blood circulation problems and a lung infection caused by the stab wound.
Mr Dimov added: ‘I can feel the wound in my back constantly. When I sit and lie down it is painful.
‘For me this whole incident has affected me very deeply psychologically. It is far, far worse than the physical injuries.
‘I am a big and physically strong man. I can deal with the pain and the physical discomfort but I am deeply troubled by the emotional aspects of this attack.
‘I have no one to talk to about what happened to me. My wife is very upset by what happened, so I don’t want to talk to her about how I am feeling or what this incident has done to me as I don’t want her to worry.’
He also said he was nervous of groups of young men and had anxiety caused by the sound of mopeds and motorbikes.
‘I am very paranoid since the attack. I get up in the night and check the doors and windows to make sure they are locked.’
His statement added: ‘I am very fortunate that the outcome wasn’t worse. I really could have been seriously injured especially to be attacked with swords and axes. I feel lucky to still be alive.’
The robbers fled empty handed, spooked by Mr Dimov’s bravery and after they set off a burglar alarm which emits a smoke cloud that prevents would-be burglars seeing.
Salmon and St Martin deny conspiring to rob Boodles in March, while Warry is accused of attacking Yves Saint Laurent on April 24.
Doyle admits his involvement in conspiracy to rob the jewellers on March 26 but denies a count of wounding with intent against Mr Dimov.
The court heard Henry Histon, 18, admitted his involvement in the Boodles and Yves Saint Laurent raids and a 16-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to the conspiracy to rob Boodles.
Other members of the north London gang are still to be brought to justice, the court heard.
The men abandoned their clothing and crash helmets in a Clerkenwell office block undergoing refurbishment but a mobile phone was left in a pocket of one pair of trousers.
Mr Shaw said: ‘It’s the major mistake that this gang made. They left behind a burner Nokia mobile phone, stored in it was four numbers.
‘It had been activated on the Saturday before it was used. The first number was for Mr Warry, the second number was for Mr St Martin and the third number was for a mini-cab driver.’
Police contacted the company that supplied the top-up the phones and traced the payment back to a Co-op store in King’s Cross.
Mr Shaw added: ‘Police got the store’s footage from Saturday night and approaching the counter, topping up that mobile phone found dumped, was Mr St Martin. And he was topping up not just his phone but the four other numbers stored in it.’
Jurors heard cell site and phone company evidence linked the four phones together during the weekend before and on the day of the attempted robbery.
Some handbags were thrown into a large red duffle sack similar to that used by postmen.
Mr Shaw said: ‘CCTV identifies Mr Warry. Both those offences are planned in that we say it’s the same gang carrying them out.’
St Martin, Warry and Histon are then all seen on CCTV at a hotel in King’s Cross that Mr St Martin was living in, said the prosecutor.
A red duffle bag similar to that seen on the footage is seen on hotel CCTV being taken in and out of the hotel before being put into the boot of a Ford Focus that pulls up outside.
CCTV allegedly then shows St Martin and two other men go into a local McDonalds.
St Martin is also said to have gone on a robbery spree in King’s Cross in between the two attacks.
The court heard he donned a face mask used to filter out pollution and got onto his bicycle before stealing phones from members of the public on the street.
Two stolen mobile phones were later found in his hotel room, the court heard, as well as two YSL handbags, worth £4,500 and £5,000 respectively.
The defendant is said to have jumped out of a second floor window when police came to arrest him and tried to hide an iPhone in the airing cupboard in a lower floor room.
The trial continues.