A BUSINESSMAN has denied he had any connection with a gang responsible for a robbery in which a Flintshire couple were tied up and robbed of £100,000 and jewellery worth £40,000.
Lawrence Bernard Levey, who runs jewellery businesses in Liverpool and Warrington, said he had previously sold a watch to one of the victims and had been to his home to pick up £13,000.
But he had not been involved in any conspiracy to have them robbed and had not set eyes on his co-defendant, Gary Warner, until he saw him in the court dock.
Questioned by his barrister, Stephen Riorden QC, Levey told Mold Crown Court he had no idea how his phone number came to be entered on Warner’s phone last October.
The prosecution claim Warner was one of three masked men who robbed Peter Davies and his wife, Jacqueline, both in their sixties, at their secluded home near Leeswood, Mold, tied them up and covered them with oil.
Father-of-two Levey, it is alleged by the prosecution, had identified them as potential robbery victims.
Giving evidence on the sixth day of the trial, Levey said apart from the watch he had sold Mr Davies, he was not aware of any other items of value in the house.
He did not know he kept cash at home and while jewellery had been mentioned in general conversation, he was not aware where it was kept.
He did not know if Mr and Mrs Davies had a safe and did not pass any information about the couple or his trip to North Wales to anyone who might have misused that information or give anyone any directions to his house.
In his evidence he said he was a man of no previous convictions who had been in the jewellery business for 30 years. He had travelled the world. Before running the shops he had been selling jewellery “on the road” which meant extensive travel to such locations as America, the Far East, Germany and Spain. He would attend every major watch and jewellery fair.
“I was on and off planes more or less on a weekly basis,” he said.
He dealt in expensive jewellery and pre-owned watches and he had sold a diamond set ladies’ Rolex watch to Peter Davies from Leeswood for £13,500.
While no receipt was issued, the deal went through the books and he had followed Mr Davies home, at his invitation, to pick up the money, which was not unusual.
He later met them at his Warrington shop where the watch was valued, they had lunch and got on very well.
Mr Davies mentioned he might be looking for a diamond solitaire ring and they had discussed part-exchanging some jewellery that was no longer in use. But he said no one had mentioned Mrs Davies already had such a ring.
The prosecution alleges that two days before the robbery, a ‘reconnaissance’ took place. Phone records and ANPR cameras suggest Warner’s Clio car and Levey’s mobile phone were together that day.
But Levey said he did not know Warner and had never been in a car with him.
On the day of the alleged ‘reconnaissance’, he had been to the home of a friend in Ledsham, Chester, now living in Vietnam, to check on some furniture and to take two statues into safe-keeping.
On the day of the robbery he was in London seeing clients and other jewellery dealers and then went to Stoke-on-Trent. He got back home early the following day.
Levey, 56, of Mossley Hill Drive, Liverpool and Warner, 45, of Beteler Court, Warrington, both deny conspiring to rob the couple in August of last year.
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