Derby Telegraph's archive material used in 1986 Jeanian Jewellers raid investigation
DERBY Telegraph reports from 26 years ago have been used in an armed robbery inquiry, a jury was told.
Photographs of a brief case and shotgun cartridges, found at Jeanian Jewellers, in Derby, after an attempted robbery in 1986, were also shown at Barrie Rhodes' trial yesterday.
The photographs, along with articles about the attempted robbery, were stored in the Derby Telegraph's archives.
Derby Crown Court heard how Rhodes was arrested after a match was found between his fingerprints and ones found at the crime scene – after they were scanned through the national archive system in 2011.
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The 65-year-old, of Monument Lane, Ironville, denies attempted robbery. He told police he was in the jewellery trade at the time, which he claimed would explain the presence of his fingerprints at the Osmaston Road firm.
Detective Constable Michael Stott, who carried out the latest investigation, told the court that the only police material remaining from the 1986 inquiry were "a daily brief and the original finger prints".
Brett Williamson, for Rhodes, asked Det Con Stott: "It's a staggeringly poor state of affairs, isn't it, for the entire crime file to have gone missing in this case, do you agree?"
Det Con Stott said: "After 26-and-a-half years, I cannot say I am surprised. Even by today's standards, they would have only been retained for 25 years."
Mr Williamson said: "All those inquiries, all those witness statements – all that evidence lost." "Yes," replied Det Con Stott.
Det Con Stott said he had made various inquiries to find out if any records from the Jeanian Jewellery investigation had been kept but he was unable to find any. He said, in the past, some police files had been stored in the cellar at the old Full Street police station.
Det Con Stott said: "The cellars would flood and items were often destroyed and disposed of. When it moved to St Mary's Wharf, a lot of the files would have been looked at and discarded.
"If the file was retained, it would be stored in headquarters or centrally at Iron Mountain (an information storage company)."
On Tuesday, the court heard the couple looking after the wholesaler business at the time of the robbery were Alan and Irene Hardy – the parents of owner Ian Hardy.
Alan Hardy has since died and Mrs Hardy's memory is now very fragile but Ian Hardy said his father told him one of the two robbers pointed a shotgun at his mother's head and his dad had hit the alarm buzzer.
The gunman then hit Mr Hardy with the weapon and the men ran out of the shop empty-handed.
The trial continues.