Home   Kent   News   Article

Learner driver held up police on way to New Romney robber Robert Haines

Bob Haines, shot dead by police in New Romney robbery
Bob Haines, shot dead by police in New Romney robbery

A learner driver blocked firearms officers as they were given the order to move in on New Romney bank robber Robert Haines, a jury has heard.

Three Metropolitan Police officers gave evidence on Friday, at the end of the first week of the inquest into Haines's death, detailing the moment they were given orders by their superiors to "attack, attack, attack" on the night of October 31, 2006.

The firearms officers told Folkestone magistrates court how they drove their response vehicle into Church Close only to be confronted by a horrified learner driver who stalled the vehicle in shock as police vans squeezed past.

The first officer, who was not named but has been a firearms officer since 1982, said his job was to prevent the escape of the robber.

He said: "We moved at speed, or rather we attempted to get as quickly to the south west area of the car park, but unfortunately we came nose to nose with a learner driver who panicked and stalled the vehicle.

"We managed to get past that and when we arrived the situation had effectively been dealt with."

In the darkened alleyway a silver Mercedes sat idle with its lights on. The car was to be used as Haines' getaway vehicle transporting the £105,000 he snatched from the Nationwide building society on New Romney High Street.

The father-of-two was shot by an officer named only as Echo 19. The conscious Haimes lay flat on his face on the ground. A discarded sawn-off shot gun lay 15 metres away.

A second officer, who administered first aid to 41-year-old Haines, of Challock, told the court officers stood over him holding a taser which consists of two darts on the end of wires containing a 50,000 volt shock.

The tactical advisor told the court: "I heard the words that he had been shot and I immediately then got down on the floor and turned him over. I pulled the balaclava off his face and that's when I identified him as Mr Haines."

The court heard how after he had been shot Haines attempted to get up but was told to stay down. He ignored the order and had the taser wires fired at him for non-compliance.

A third officer described how he also helped administer first aid.

He said: "As I got out of our vehicle I heard a shout for medics and as a medic I forgot about everything else and I made my way to the car.

"I could see Mr Haines on the floor being dealt with by colleagues. He was lying on his back and one of my colleagues was holding his hand. Mr Haines was moaning and thrashing about. I immediately went straight to the head, leaned over and pulled open the clothing.

"He was wearing multiple layers and when I got to the skin there appeared to be a gun shot wound on the right shoulder."

Haines was taken to William Harvey Hospital by ambulance but was pronounced dead at 9pm.

Proceedings were blacked out by boards across the court room to protect the officer's identity.

The inquest is expected to last for between three and five weeks.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More