A MAN alleged to have been the getaway driver in an armed robbery told a court: “You’ve got the wrong man”.
Daniel Ogden is standing trial with Jonathan Hogan, who is accused of being one of two masked men who burst into Pearson Ferrier estate agents on July 31 last year, wielding a “large rusty wrench”.
The pair deny robbery and possession of a firearm at a trial at Bolton Crown Court.
The other masked man, John Grimshaw, aged 24, of no fixed abode, has previously pleaded guilty to robbery, possession of a firearm and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
The court was told that Grimshaw had pointed an imitation pistol at a member of staff and said he would “blow his head off” unless he opened a safe.
A jury heard that Ogden, of George Road, Ramsbottom, had been out fishing with his son at the Fisherman’s Retreat in Shuttleworth on the day of the robbery, when he received a call from Grimshaw at about 3pm asking if he could borrow his green Mazda, which was used in the incident.
In a defence statement read out to the court, Ogden “eventually” agreed, and that he later dropped off the car near Walmersley Old Road, leaving the keys in the sun visor and then walking to his mother’s house for a short time before going to the Grey Mare pub for “an hour or two”.
Ogden denied any knowledge of what the car would be used for, and said: “I didn’t know what he was going to do with it, otherwise I wouldn’t have lent it.”
The court was told that Ogden settled some debts at the pub with the landlord, which Ogden accepts, but which the prosecution say was from the proceeds of the armed robbery.
Ogden, aged 38, also claimed that he had left his phone in the car by mistake before handing it over to Grimshaw, and that he has not seen it since it was seized by police.
However the prosecution alleges that Ogden deliberately destroyed the phone to hide his involvement in the robbery, with phone records showing that he contacted Grimshaw on the day of the incident.
Prosecutor Philip Parry said: “There would be no reason for anybody other than you to get rid of this phone.”
Ogden’s car was later traced to his house, with armed police searching his home and the car at around 7pm but finding no one there.
Giving evidence on Monday, Hogan told the court that he “knew of” Ogden, but that he “didn’t really know him”.
Hogan, who lives at the Dusty Miller pub in Crostons Road, which his parents run and where he regularly works, said he was working while the robbery was taking place. The jury was due to retire to consider their verdicts yesterday afternoon.
l A 17-year-old girl from Bury, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and converting criminal property.