Bakery raid trial latest

A woman alleged to have acted as a getaway driver to two men involved in the armed raid at a Norfolk bakery told police in interview that the idea was “ludicrous.

A woman alleged to have acted as a getaway driver for two men involved in the armed raid at a Norfolk bakery told police in interview that the idea was “ludicrous”.

Vanessa Ponsford, 31, is said to have driven Michael Roode, 27, and another man, Nigel Bestford, to Mr Bunn the Baker in Long Stratton who then held up Royston Owen threatening him with a swan-off shotgun and an axe, Norwich Crown Court has heard.

Ponsford is said to have driven them to the bakery - but her car ran out of petrol outside the shop. So the two men then stole Mr Owen's car - taking him with them to Norwich before completing their escape.

In police interview it was put to Ponsford that she had planned the job and she told officers: “Absolutely not” and claimed she had never seen a firearm or axe. She also denied that she had stored the gun for Roode at her home in Tibbenham. She told officers: “I did not drive them out to Long Stratton.”

She said she and Roode were crack cocaine users and they used to go to “score” drugs.

Ponsford also denied driving Roode and Gareth Turner, 27, to carry out another two robberies two days later, one at Old Thorn Barn bed and breakfast at Hethel and another at the Lavender House restaurant in Brundall.

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Ponsford, of Edinburgh Road, Norwich, has denied three offences of robbery and two of possessing a shotgun. Turner, 27, of Key and Castle Yard, Norwich, has denied the robberies at Hethel and Brundall. Roode has already pleaded guilty to all the robberies.

The case continues.