Second man pleads guilty to jewellers heist

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A SECOND man has admitted taking part in a botched raid on a Battle jewellers last year.

Leon Holder, 21, of Fairview, Hawkhurst, appeared before Lewes Crown Court on Thursday January 27 and pleaded guilty to one charge of robbery at Friar House Antique Jewellery on September 17.

William Smith, 30, of Tenterden Road, Golford, Kent, pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to a charge of burglary with intent to steal and attempted burglary following the raid on the shop in the High Street.

The drama unfolded when two men, one dressed as a postman, tricked their way into the jewellers before smashing a glass display unit to get to some of the expensive jewellery sold in the shop.

But the duo didn’t count on the bravery of the manageress and shop assistant, who tried to force the men out the shop by striking them with a solid metal bar, which is used to measure ring sizes.

The pair fled into the High Street, but Smith was pinned down by passers-by and held until the police arrived.

Holder escaped and went on the run, but was eventually arrested by police some time later.

Holder also pleaded guilty to a charge of grievous bodily harm after an elderly man broke his leg when he was knocked to the floor as Holder fled the scene.

DI Ian Williams, of Rother CID, said: “This was a serious offence where a man sustained a broken leg as one of the robbers fled.

“As a result of the brave actions of those present in detaining one man, the police investigation was able to concentrate on the one who got away.

“He has now been brought to justice and it will give people reassurance that the two criminals are no longer free.”

Both men are due to be sentenced at Lewes Crown Court on February 17.