Ipswich: Mechanic ‘ignorant’ of raid on jewellers

A mechanic accused of driving a getaway van used during an armed robbery at an Ipswich town centre jewellers has denied having any knowledge of the raid.

Danny O’Bryan, 22, told a jury at Ipswich Crown Court he had been offered �500 by a man to hire a van and take some motor bikes to Ipswich.

He refused to name the man because he was scared for the safety of his family. O’Bryan said he had collected the bikes in London and was instructed to drive to a service station where he picked up his co-defendant Benjamin Murphy

They were given directions to Dale Hall Lane in Ipswich and when they got there the bikes had been unloaded by some men.

O’Bryan said he heard the bikes leave and began to suspect he might be caught up in something illegal.

He waited because he wanted to be paid and when the four men who had gone off on the bikes returned, he and Murphy headed back to London. The van was stopped by police on the A12 and O’Bryan admitted that when police told him they suspected him of being involved in a robbery he lied, saying he had been working at Ipswich station.

“I knew something was up and I panicked,” he said.

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He denied knowing anything about the robbery at Goldsmiths jewellers in Tavern Street, Ipswich, during which �78,000 of watches were stolen after glass display cases were smashed with a sledgehammer and an axe by two men who arrived and left on the back of two motor cycles.

O’Bryan, of Bulphan, Essex, Benjamin Murphy, 25, of Loughton, and Charles Onyemelukwe, 24, of Camden, have denied conspiracy to commit robbery on June 15 last year.

Two other men – Dean Armstrong, 20, of Islington and George Paget, 19, of Rochester, Kent – have pleaded guilty to the charge.

The trial continues today.