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Home Gravesend News Article
Four armed raiders turned tail and fled after they were confronted by a snarling rottweiler at a Gravesend flat.
The hooded gang brandished knives as they forced their way into the home at Gravesham Court in Clarence Row on the evening of March 9 last year.
They barely had time to demand money before they spotted the angry pet and sped off down the stairs.
Maidstone Crown Court heard pregnant Kasha-Marie Weston was watching TV with her boyfriend Asso Salhi. Also in the flat was Miss Weston’s brother Liam Golden.
At about 8.30pm they heard loud bangs at the front door. Mr Salhi opened it and four men burst in.
One of them grabbed Miss Weston and held a knife to her neck, telling her to “shhh”.
Prosecutor Edward Fowler said two other men held Mr Salhi, while the fourth stood by the door.
Miss Weston called to her brother, who was in the bathroom. They demanded money.
“The dog was getting excited and trying to get to the men,” said Mr Fowler. “It was at that stage out of fear they thought better of it and decided to leave the flat.
“Mr Salhi and his dog chased after them. Two of the men went in one direction and two in the other.”
He caught up with one of them - Ayolla Benedict - and was punched by him, said Mr Fowler.
Benedict pulled out a knife and punched Mr Salhi with it in his hand. Mr Salhi fought back.
Miss Weston and Mr Golden arrived. When told they were taking him to the police, he said: “No, sorry, please. I was pressurised into doing it. I can help you find them.”
He put his hand inside his body warmer, pulled out a knife and gave it to Miss Weston. They took him to the police and he was arrested.
The three others were not caught.
Mr Fowler said Benedict, 19, was confident before going into the flat with his mates and “not so confident when running out perhaps”.
“His story is utterly ridiculous,” he added. “He says he was acting under duress. The Crown say that is complete balderdash.”
Benedict, of Rochester Road, Gravesend, denies aggravated burglary and having an offensive weapon.
The trial continues.
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