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Collier Row 'robbers' changed clothes to evade police

PUBLISHED: 13:00 07 February 2011

Police sirens

Police sirens

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A GANG of armed robbers posed as shoppers when their high-powered getaway car was cornered in a Collier Row supermarket car park, a court heard.

Suspected gunman Paul Oughton, 47, casually walked from the silver Audi S8 Quattro into Tesco Metro in Collier Row Lane, it was said.

Oughton, from Dagenham, stuffed his dark top into a rucksuck and slipped on a white T-shirt before buying some cigarettes, say prosecutors.

Mark Richards, 29, of Berwick Road, Rainham, dumped his fleece jacket behind soap powder boxes before leaving the shop as a police helicopter hovered overhead, jurors heard.

When Flying Squad officers arrived they found a loaded sawn-off shotgun and handgun in the stolen Audi, Snaresbrook Crown Court was told.

The chopper had followed the car via its on-board tracker but when the suspects emerged from the store in different clothing they were able to simply melt away, jurors heard.

But officers found paper suits and balaclavas containing the DNA of Oughton and a third defendant, Dean Williamson, 28, of Barking, who were both later arrested, the court heard.

The gang had earlier ram-raided a dealership in Southend, Essex, also taking a second car which prosecutors claim was used by Williamson.

“What they didn’t know was that both cars were fitted with a tracker,” said Mr Shaw.

Airborne Flying Squad officers followed the Audi S8 via its tracker to the supermarket, the court heard.

Jurors were shown on-board camera footage from the helicopter, showing both men heading for the supermarket.

Oughton and Williamson both deny conspiracy to rob.

Oughton alone denies two counts of having a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence. Richards is not before the jury.

The trial continues.

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