Jury told it can return majority verdict in jewellery store owner trial

Ammir Kohanzad, 68, of Ingestre Road, Calver London. Picture: Staff photographer

Ammir Kohanzad, 68, of Ingestre Road, Calver London. Picture: Staff photographer - Credit: Archant

A jury in the trial of a London jewellery store owner accused of handling stolen goods has been told they can return a majority verdict.

Ammir Kohanzad is one of four men on trial accused of having links to a 'prolific' criminal gang that carried out more than 200 burglaries across East Anglia.

The 68-year-old, who runs Danesh International Jewellery in Hatton Garden, faces two charges of handling stolen goods.

A jury at Norwich Crown Court this afternoon said it was yet to reach a verdict on both counts.

Judge Stephen Holt said he would now accept a majority verdict and retired the jury.

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On Wednesday, Simon Oakley, 45, who owns Stratton Quickfit in Long Stratton, was convicted of conspiracy to commit burglary.

James Pateman, 55, of Wollens Brook, Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire and his brother Thomas Pateman, 54, of Fen Road, Chesterton, Cambridgeshire, were also found guilty of handling stolen goods.

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All three have been warned that they face jail.

The court has heard how the three men were part of criminal enterprise which saw more than £2m worth of property stolen, including high-perfomance cars, cash and jewellery between February and December 2017.

The offences took place over Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire and Essex.

After the verdicts were returned on Wednesday, judge Stephen Holt adjourned sentence for the three men granting them bail but warned them that custody was inevitable.

During the trial William Carter, prosecuting, described how although Oakley was not present at the burglaries he provided assistance with cars by providing false number plates.

The Pateman brothers both deal in precious metals and Mr Carter said: 'They (burglars) need people they can go to with the stolen property, who are prepared to take it off their hands for money.'

When police raided Oakley's home and business on January 9 this year, officers found a stolen Volkswagen Golf, with false number plates and when they checked the printing machine, it was found with a very large number of plates used for vehicles involved in burglaries.

The court heard how the gang would take high-end vehicles from homes, change the number plates, and then use them for other crimes.

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