AN ARMED robber held a revolver to a young boy’s head in a raid on a family home, a jury has been told.
Four men kicked down the front door at a home in Sultan Road, Buckland, in Portsmouth, shattering glass as they burst in.
Terrified Maria Dine pleaded with the intruders not to shoot her 12-year-old son and four-year-old daughter as she stood between them and the masked gunman, jurors heard.
When the boy fled downstairs he was grabbed by two robbers as he reached the front door, with one pointing a gun at his head, Portsmouth Crown Court heard.
Jurors were told the masked men demanded Ms Dine and her friend Kerry Aldred tell them where cash or drugs were in the house before the gunman went upstairs and threatened the children.
Prosecutor Nick Tucker said: ‘One of the four men brandished what appeared to be a revolver, while repeatedly demanding “where’s the money?” and “where’s the drop?”
‘They searched the kitchen; they then took Maria Dine upstairs, where they used what may have been an imitation gun to threaten her two children. The boy managed to make his way down the stairs to the ground floor.’
He added: ‘He got to the front door before two of the intruders grabbed him with a gun pointed to his head.’
He said Ms Dine later told police she thought she was going to die in the raid.
‘Maria stood between the gunman and her children telling the man to shoot her instead,’ Mr Tucker said.
The men fled empty-handed into a waiting taxi as Ms Dine gave chase shouting for help.
Neither Ms Dine or Ms Aldred knew what the men were asking for and a police expert said ‘drop’ could mean drugs or money. Mr Tucker said the gun may or may not have been an imitation.
Mr Tucker was opening the case against Draid Nurse and Ryan Orme, who are on trial accused of conspiring to rob Jay Page, who lived at the home but was not in.
Orme, 18, and Nurse, 21, were sitting outside the house in the back of a six-seater Ford Galaxy taxi being driven by Naveed Anjum, jurors were told.
Giving evidence yesterday Mr Anjum, who drove for North End Taxis, told how he picked up six men in Railway View, in Landport, after a taxi was booked at about 7.54pm.
He said he dropped four of the men – Richard Bailey, Faz’Ain Hussain and Abner Emedeme and another man who is at large – in Princes Street before waiting for them in Sultan Road. Nurse and Orme stayed in the taxi.
Another witness described how Mr Anjum looked ‘scared’ as the four men ran to get in the taxi as Ms Dine ran behind them calling for help.
Mr Anjum said one man hit his head, telling him: ‘we’re in trouble’ and to drive quickly.
The taxi driver said the group were talking and laughing as he nervously dropped them at the Coach and Horses pub in Hilsea after the raid.
Armed police rushed to the area as Ms Dine called 999 at 8.11pm and officers saw six men, in two groups of three, walking near the Toby Carvery. Three of the men – Orme, Emedeme and Bailey – walked into the pub car park and into an Aquacars taxi.
Police blocked the path of the car and arrested all three, Mr Tucker said. Nurse was arrested the next day at his home in Greetham Street.
Ashley Ailes, for Orme, said drug dealer Emedeme was staying at Orme’s flat, had beaten him up, threatened his family and forced the then 17-year-old to test cocaine. Orme told police he had ‘no choice’ but to be involved.
Philip Kazantzis, for Nurse, said he did not agree to be part of the robbery. The court heard he told police he was trying to buy cannabis and went with the men to get it, not knowing about a robbery.
Orme, then of Copnor Road, Hilsea, and Nurse, of Cairo Terrace, Buckland, deny conspiring to rob Mr Page with the other men on April 13 last year.
Hussain, 23, of HMP Onley, Emedeme, 22, of High Street, Colliers Wood, London, and Bailey, 27, from London, admitted conspiracy to rob.