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Hairdresser in £53m robbery disguise coverup'

PUBLISHED: 18:31 08 October 2008 | UPDATED: 11:11 12 August 2010

A HAIRDRESSER played a part in creating the disguises for a gang responsible for the country s biggest ever cash robbery, a court heard on Tuesday. Michael Demetris, 32, of Bromley Common, Bromley is accused of helping the gang responsible for carrying ou

A HAIRDRESSER played a part in creating the disguises for a gang responsible for the country's biggest ever cash robbery, a court heard on Tuesday. Michael Demetris, 32, of Bromley Common, Bromley is accused of helping the gang responsible for carrying out the armed heist at the Securitas cash depository in Tonbridge which netted the robbers £53 million in February 2006.

The court heard that evidence against Demetris arose after his former employee Michelle Hogg, 33, admitted to applying prosthetic masks and theatrical make-up to disguise the robbers.

Ms Hogg is now in a witness protection scheme.

Demetris was a friend of cage fighter Lee Murray, from Sidcup who stands accused of plotting the heist along with Paul Allen, 30, of Huntersfield Close, Chatham.

Both are accused of fleeing to Morroco to live off the proceeds.

Murray, currently in a Morrocan jail, was a regular visitor to Demetris' Hair Hectic salon in Forest Hill where Ms Hogg also worked.

Sir John Nutting, QC, prosecuting, said he 'organised Michelle Hogg's life' from January 31, 2006 when he introduced her to Murray until the robbery took place. He would encourage her to work from home on the complex disguises, made from 'latex, silicone and false hair', which would alter a person's appearance so dramatically they would be unrecognisable even close up, it was said.

He added: "On the last day before the robbery, Monday February 20, he worked at the defendant Allen's address in Chatham where he made adjustments to the disguises of Cane Patterson, while Michelle Hogg was applying disguises separately at Royle's mother's address in Maidstone.

"After the robbery he instructed Michelle Hogg what to say to police when she was interviewed."

Five other men Stuart Royle, 48, Jetmir Bucpapa, 26, Lea Rusha, 35, Emir Hysenaj, 28, Roger Coutts, 30, were convicted for their parts in the robbery after a trial earlier this year. The trial continues.

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