‘Petrified’ security guard tells of horror during £50,000 cash machine robbery at Hartlepool Asda

A police van and security van in a taped off area in Asda car park Marina Way.
A police van and security van in a taped off area in Asda car park Marina Way.

Three people are standing trial accused of robbing a security guard of a £50,000 cash machine box at Hartlepool’s Asda supermarket.

Teesside Crown Court heard how guard Lee Henderson was confronted by a robber wearing a balaclava as he refilled the ATM at around 4.50am on September 1 in 2014.

Avondene Flatts in Church Street, Hartlepool.

Avondene Flatts in Church Street, Hartlepool.

Mr Henderson told the jury he was petrified and threw the cash box containing £50,000 in £20 notes towards the robber who picked it up and got into a waiting Mitsubishi Shogun which fled the scene.

Christopher Barnett, 27, Yasmine Jaafri, 19, and Amy Walton, 22, are jointly charged with robbery and converting criminal property.

Martin Towers, prosecuting, said: “There was a team that was involved in the commission of this offence and it’s the Crown’s case that the three defendants were part of that team.”

Mr Henderson told the court that someone wearing a balaclava appeared from behind his security van.

A security van in a taped off area in Asda car park Marina Way.

A security van in a taped off area in Asda car park Marina Way.

“I screamed out loud because I was petrified,” he said. “As soon as I saw the balaclava I knew what was going to happen.”

He said he instinctively threw the box towards the alleged robber, ran away and alerted his colleague.

The three defendants are alleged to have been inside the Mitsubishi Shogun which was parked in the bus lay-by on Marina Way.

The prosecution told the jury it will rely on CCTV footage, analysis of Barnett’s mobile phone, and an alleged spending spree for all three defendants after the robbery to prove their guilt.

CCTV footage from Avondene flats in Hartlepool at about 2.30am on the morning of the robbery is alleged to show Barnett, Jaafri and Walton, and another male when the Mitsubishi Shogun said to have been used in the robbery arrives and leaves.

“It’s the Crown’s case that that footage shows these three defendants and another man were in that vehicle,” said Mr Towers.

He said analysis of Barnett’s mobile phone places him at Hart village where the Shogun was caught on CCTV within minutes of the robbery, as well as at a landfill site where the vehicle was later found burned out, and at Station Town shortly after the robbery where the empty cash box was later recovered.

Barnett, of Wood View, Trimdon Colliery; Jaafri, of Milbank Road, Hartlepool; and Walton, of St Oswald’s Street, Hartlepool, all deny the charges. Trial continues.