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Grzegorz Sikora denies threatening to shoot colleague in trial of men accused of selling tobacco instead of incinerating it at Discovery Park, Sandwich

By Paul Hooper

One of the men on trial accused of stealing £250,000 worth of confiscated tobacco from a Sandwich depot has denied threatening to shoot a colleague.

Father-of-three Grzegorz Sikora and Adrian Baker are both accused of being part of a conspiracy to steal the products which were then sold on the black market.

Sikora, 37, has denied stealing the tobacco from the East Kent Waste Recovery Facility at River Discovery Par.

The Crown’s case is that tobacco to the value of £235,000 was stolen
The Crown’s case is that tobacco to the value of £235,000 was stolen

But defence barrister James Howard, asked if Sikora had ever had a photograph of a man holding a gun on his mobile phone, which he used to intimate Baker.

He told a jury at Canterbury Crown Court: “I have never threatened anyone in my life.”

Baker’s lawyer asked if he had deliberately driven a fork lift truck at his client before swerving it around him.

Sikora, of Northdown Road, Cliftonville, retorted: “That never happened.”

Four men are on trial accused of conspiracy to steal items confiscated by the UK Border Agency and sent to the plant to be incinerated.

Sikora, Adrian Love, Neil Bradley and Baker have all denied the conspiracy to steal.

A fifth man, Mark Short has pleaded guilty and will be sentenced later.

The trial is taking place at Canterbury Crown Court
The trial is taking place at Canterbury Crown Court

Prosecutor Dominic Connolly told the jury: "Augean, which operates a high temperature incinerator, has a contract with UKBF to destroy hazardous waste, including tobacco, drugs, alcohol - materials which have a high potential black market value."

He claimed that tobacco and cigarettes were taken from the Sandwich store prior to incineration.

“They were hidden at a number of locations at the plant, from where they were later removed and sold on the black market," he said.

“It is the Crown’s case the tobacco to the value of £235,000 was stolen.”

Mr Howard suggested Sikora had been carrying boxes to the boot of his car when one split, revealing tobacco and then threatened Baker not to reveal it.

He said: “That’s not true. That never happened and I have never threatened anyone in my life.”

Sikora; Love, 47, of Grenville Way, Broadstairs; Bradley, 47, of St Augustines Road, Ramsgate, and Baker, 49, of Bush Avenue, Ramsgate have all denied the offence.

The trial continues.

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