Effirth couple ‘held up at gunpoint’

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A West Side couple were robbed at gunpoint after they took a suitcase of cash south to buy a car, a trial at Bradford Crown Court was told on Wednesday.

Michael Irvine and Louise Cogle of Effirth were robbed of £5,000 and their passports after they travelled 600 miles to the West Yorkshire city to answer an internet advert for an Audi A4 Quattro, it was claimed.

Ms Cogle, 36, told the city’s crown court that three masked men ran at them shouting “I am going to take the bag. I am going to shoot you,” after they had taken a taxi to a rendezvous to buy the car, according to a report in the Telegraph & Argus. Mr Irvine was holding the case and a weapon was pointed at his face.

“I thought they were going to shoot Michael and I was begging them not to shoot him. I was saying ‘Give them the bag. Just leave him alone’,” Ms Cogle said.

Mr Irvine told how he froze when three men in black balaclava masks suddenly ran at him. “My heart started pounding and I realised it was fruitless trying to do anything,” he said.

The jury heard that the couple had been lured to Park Drive, Heaton, at noon on Saturday 10th August. They were allegedly robbed of a suitcase containing the money by the men who were brandishing what appeared to be a handgun and a plank of wood.

Sajid Hussain, 24, of Cuncliffe Villas, Manningham, Bradford, denies joining with others to rob the couple of £5,000 in money and two passports, and possession of a firearm or an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

Prosecutor Simon Haring told the jury that Shahid Sadik, of Toller Lane, Bradford, had pleaded guilty to being one of the robbers.

The couple, who previously ran a motor home hire business from their home in Effirth, spoke to a man over the phone who told them the car was in perfect condition and belonged to his wife. They took a train to Bradford and then a taxi to an address in Park Drive.

They began to get suspicious when the car was not there, or at neighbouring houses. While they waited, the three robbers struck before fleeing on foot.

The jury saw CCTV footage, obtained by the police from a nearby householder, of them running off up the road. Mr Haring alleged that Hussain was bringing up the rear with the stolen bag.

Mr Irvine and Ms Cogle are back in Shetland after giving evidence at the trial of Mr Hussain on Wednesday. The trial was continuing yesterday and was also scheduled for today.

About Peter Johnson

Reporter for The Shetland Times. I have also worked as an employed and freelance reporter and editor for a variety of print and broadcast media outlets and as as a freelance photographer and film maker/cameraman. In addition to journalism, I have experience in construction, oil analysis, aquaculture, fisheries, the health service and oral history.

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