Published: 06:00, 10 September 2019
A duo denied exploding cash machines - causing danger to life - in a series of highly organised heists, including one in Ashford.
Victor Coseru, 27, and Gica-Fanica Radu, 30, stand accused of conspiring to detonate explosives inside five cash machines to steal money.
The reported attacks happened in Buckinghamshire earlier this year and then Co-Op in Faversham Road, Kennington, during the early hours of February 7.
Both Romanian nationals were arrested trying to flee the country the next day with a cut of money from the Kennington heist, Judge James O’Mahoney heard.
Prosecutor Martin Yale told a jury in the trial opening: “This is potentially a lucrative crime and dangerous - money was only taken in the last attack.
“The nature of doing this (exploding cash machines) was to force open the front of the cash machine, insert an explosive device, once that had blown open the cash machine it was their intention to steal the cash inside.
“They only managed to steal from the last attack and were arrested trying to leave the country with some of the money.”
Jurors will hear evidence surrounding telephone records and number plate recognition cameras during the two-and-a-half-week hearing, the barrister said.
The alleged attacks happened in quick succession between January and February this year, Canterbury Crown Court heard.
Barclays, Tesco and Sainsbury stores were targeted, however, there was a lull after Coseru left the country, Mr Yale explained.
“This is relevant because the attacks happened as soon as Mr Coseru returned to the country,” he added.
With the aid of an interpreter both men, who are registered as no fixed abode, pleaded not guilty to conspiring with others to cause an explosion likely to endanger life or cause serious injury to property.
Radu, represented by John Barker, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary between May 31 last year and February 8.
Coseru, represented by Kieran Brand, pleaded not guilty to conspiring with others to commit burglary during the same dates.
The trial continues.
More by this authorSean Axtell