Two more people charged with taking part in £100,000 antique shop burglary
By Court reporter | 21st September 2023
Two more men are being charged with taking part in a £100,000 antiques shop burglary in the Cotswolds almost a year ago, it was revealed today (September 21).
Vincent Smith, 41, of Cartwright Road, Churchdown, and Steven Agg, 33, of Moors Avenue, Cheltenham, are currently awaiting jury trial in November on a charge of breaking into Mickleton Antiques on October 16/17, 2022, and stealing £100,000 worth of silver and gold.
Today, however, the prosecution disclosed to a judge at Gloucester Crown Court that a decision has just been taken to charge two further men with involvement in the raid.
They were named in court by prosecutor Nicholas Lee as Michael Smith and Lattrell Hilton.
Mr Lee told Recorder David Mason KC: "The case has been listed today in response to an email sent by the Crown Prosecution Service informing the court of a very significant development in the case.
"The development in question is that earlier this month a decision was taken by the CPS to charge two other people for their alleged involvement in this burglary. They are Lattrell Hilton and Michael Smith.
"The decision was taken to authorise charges against them, but I don't know if they have yet been postally requisitioned or whether there is yet a date for their first court appearance. I expect not, as there is often a delay between authorising a charge and the document being sent out.
"The trial (of the existing defendants) is currently listed in November but it seems to the prosecution very unlikely that Mr Hilton and Michael Smith will be ready to be tried together with Vincent Smith and Mr Agg by then.
"It would be better in principle for all four defendants to be tried together."
Mr Lee went on to tell the court that there is also another issue being considered by the CPS at present which might lead to the trial being vacated from November's listing.
"Something has been brought to the prosecution's attention since the new charges were authorised which has the potential to impact on whether this trial is going to be pursued by the prosecution at all," he said.
"I won't say anything more than that at this point. It is something which needs to be reviewed thoroughly. That review is taking place at the moment and it likely to take another couple of weeks before the prosecution has a firm view on what should happen."
The judge said that if the November trial is taken out of the list it would be August next year before it could be heard
He adjourned until Friday, October 13, to allow the prosecution time to consider the new issue which has arisen.
"I have no doubt the defence are fascinated by the review which you say is going on," the judge told Mr Lee.
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