Jury retires to consider if grandfather was part of terrifying raids

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A JURY has retired to consider whether a grandfather was part of two terrifying raids on large properties.

Judge Gary Burrell QC outlined the case to the jury of eight men and four women before sending them away to consider their verdict.

Christopher Doughty, 53, of Holly Gardens, Southampton, has been on trial for the past two weeks at Southampton Crown Court.

He is accused of being part of a highly-organised gang that targeted homes in Hambledon and Southampton.

He is also accused of being in possession of a loaded firearm after police found a gun - stolen from the Southampton raid - in the boot of a car that Doughty was driving.

Doughty denies any involvement and made remarks to police that he had been ‘set up’.

The trial has heard evidence from 91-year-old June Langdon and her carer Victoria Stamp, who were both tied up and blindfolded at Dower House in Hambledon as burglars ransacked the historic house for valuables, including silver, antiques and Mrs Langdon’s wedding rings.

Judge Burrell told the jury that Ms Stamp must have been terrified when she woke up in the middle of the night last October to find three masked robbers towering over her bed.

‘She must have been terrified,’ he told the jury.

‘Can you imagine what they must have been like?’

Other suspects involved in the burglaries have never been found.