Man freed by Dome diamond trial judge

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The Independent Online

One of six men accused of plotting the "robbery of the millennium" at the Dome was freed yesterday after he was found not guilty on the direction of an Old Bailey judge.

Judge Michael Coombe said there was no evidence in the case of Wayne Taylor. "Suspicion is never enough. There is no evidence he ever joined this conspiracy," he said.

Taylor, 35, of Tonbridge, Kent, had denied conspiracy to rob and conspiracy to steal. The trial of five others continues.

Aldo Ciarrocchi, 31, of Bermondsey, and William Cockran, 48, of Catford, both of south London; Robert Adams, 57, of no fixed address; and Raymond Betson, 39, of Chatham, Kent, all deny conspiracy to rob but have admitted conspiracy to steal. Kevin Meredith, 34, of Brighton, denies both charges.

The prosecution alleges the gang intended to snatch £200m of stones from the De Beers Millennium Diamond Exhibition by smashing their way in on an earth-mover and escaping by speedboat.

Mr Taylor was spotted visiting the Dome once by police surveillance in the weeks before the foiled robbery on 7 November last year but was not seen again, the court was told.