Job mix-up over robbery case man

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The Independent Online
A MAN charged with robbery and firearm offences after a shoot-out, in which a gunman died and two police officers were wounded, worked for an organisation that helps convicted criminals, it was alleged in court yesterday.

Robert Knapp, 45, was said to have been a consultant for the National Association for the Care and Rehabilitation of Offenders.

But there was confusion last night after Nacro denied Mr Knapp, of Hammersmith, west London, was employed by them.

Mr Knapp appeared before South Western magistrates, London, where he was charged with robbery and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life. The charges follow a robbery on Tuesday of a jewellers in Putney, west London, when a gunman took a hostage and shot a police officer in the legs before apparently turning his gun on himself.

Martin Fox, a solicitor for the Crown Prosecution Service, told the court that, at the time of his arrest, Mr Knapp was working as a consultant to Nacro. The group said it had no records of employing Mr Knapp, although it later emerged he may have worked at its employment training scheme in west London, where a Nacro officer recognised his name. A CPS spokesman said Mr Knapp's employment details had been supplied by the police. Scotland Yard yesterday said Mr Knapp had told detectives he was a part-time consultant for Nacro. It is understood the detective did not check this because it was thought irrelevant to the investigation.

Mr Knapp was remanded in custody until his next court appearance on 1 September.

The policeman wounded in the legs was said to be 'comfortable' in a London hospital. A colleague wounded by glass was released from hospital after treatment.

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