Court Hears How "Callous" Gang Targeted Leicester Jeweller

3 July 2018, 15:57 | Updated: 3 July 2018, 16:03


A court's heard how a 74-year-old jeweller in Leicester was kidnapped and murdered by a gang who demanded the code to a safe.

Jurors were told Ramniklal Jogiya was bundled into a van while walking home, severely beaten and tortured for information before being dumped in a country lane near Stoughton, Leicestershire. 

Opening the case against four men who deny Mr Jogiya's murder, prosecutor James House QC said the victim was abducted near his shop in Belgrave Road, Leicester, on January 24 this year. 

Mr House told Birmingham Crown Court that a member of the gang disguised in a burka entered the shop after the "sophisticated" kidnapping but was unable to open the safe due to a 12-hour time-lock. 

Claiming the robbery must have been planned over several weeks, if not months, Mr House alleged that Thomas Jervis, Callan Reeve, Charles Mcauley and Javon Roach are all guilty of murder on the grounds of joint enterprise. 

Mr House said of Mr Jogiya: "He was grabbed from the street his home address was on by at least two men, bundled into the back of a stolen Ford Transit van, driven by a third male, and then driven away. 

"He was then badly beaten, in effect he was tortured for information. His head was beaten, causing a bleed on the brain and traumatic brain injury." 

The court heard that Mr Jogiya was handled with such force that one of his biceps was ripped away from the bone, six of his ribs on the left side were broken, and he had multiple injuries to his hands and fingers. 

The court heard he had also suffered 21 distinctive circular injuries to the torso and shoulder area, suggestive of something being used to inflict repeated pain. 

During his opening speech to the jury panel, Mr House said Mr Jogiya was abandoned, probably still alive, in an isolated location - with his mobile phone having been thrown away by his kidnappers. His body was found at about 10am the following day by a retired couple driving past the scene. 

Mr House added: "He died as a direct result of his significant injuries, coated in mud and lying in the gateway of a field beside a quiet country road. 

"The reason he was kidnapped and tortured was because those who were responsible, these four defendants and probably one other, needed information from him to enable them to enter his jewellery shop, turn off the number-coded burglar alarm, access the number-coded safe and steal the valuable gold jewellery within. 

"To get that information those involved all knew they would have to force it out of him if they were to have any chance of success. 

"Mr Jogiya was therefore beaten until he divulged the information they required. 

"Once they had that information he was dumped, probably still alive but seriously injured, miles from help, thus allowing the group to access the shop, with the keys they had taken from him. 

"In this case, the prosecution say all four defendants had the same intention when they set out on this criminal enterprise. 

"All four knew that to get that information from him it was all but inevitable that pain caused by physical violence would have to be inflicted upon him to force him to divulge what they needed. 

"All four knew that really serious harm may be necessary. All four were, so to speak, in it together." 

Jervis, 24, of Enderby Road, Whetstone, Leicestershire; Mcauley, 20, of Gooding Avenue, Braunstone, Leicester, and 20-year-old Reeve, of Aylmer Road, Leicester, have all admitted kidnap and robbery but deny murder and manslaughter. Roach, 30, of Norwich Road, Leicester, denies charges of murder, manslaughter, robbery and kidnapping. 

The trial continues.