Man was held at gunpoint in Peterborough home and told he would be killed, court hears

Eyrescroft in Bretton

Eyrescroft in Bretton

A man was held at gunpoint in a Peterborough home and told he would be killed after being accused of a burglary, a court has been told.

Peterborough Crown Court heard it is alleged Matthew Walden was held prisoner by Mark Appleby-Johnson and Derek Nash in the property in Eyrescroft, Bretton on September 8 last year.

It is claimed he was told he would be shot and killed - but said he managed to escape through a window.

Appleby-Johnson (29) and Nash (42) deny charges of false imprisonment, robbery, blackmail, possession of a firearm and possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

They appeared at Peterborough Crown Court today on the opening day of their trial.
Bennedict Peers, prosecuting, told the jury of seven women and five men Mr Walden, from Birmingham, knew Appleby-Johnson, and had been arranging to buy a car from him.

He said: “Mr Walden went to the address at about 5pm on September 8.

“When he arrived Appleby said he was very concerned about a burglary at the address. He was sitting in the kitchen trying to look at CCTV footage from a camera.

“Mr Appleby said to Mr Walden to come upstairs and see what they had done to a children’s bedroom.

“Mr Walden went into the bedroom, but could not see any evidence of the burglary.

“We was then taken into another room, where Mr Nash was waiting.”

Mr Peers told the court he was then confronted by Nash, who he did not know, who was holding a sawn-off shotgun.

He said Appleby and Nash then asked Mr Walden why he had committed the burglary, saying £9,000 had been stolen.

Mr Peers said Mr Walden was hit, and had the gun put to his head.

He said: “Nash then took pliers from his pocket, and threatened to rip Mr Walden’s teeth out. He started squeezing his ears with the pliers.

“Appleby was on the phone, and then put on a white stab vest. He came off the phone, and told Nash to ‘shoot him.’

He was asked what his life was worth - they said ‘we want £20,000, or you are dead.’”

Mr Peers said Appleby then went downstairs, before coming back with pepper spray, which was sprayed in Mr Walden’s face. He said Nash then put on ‘police issue body armour.’

The court was told Mr Walden was then taken back to the child’s bedroom, where he was told to kneel on the floor, and the gun was put to his head.

Mr Peers said he was then told to put on his coat, so he could go outside. He refused, and a scuffle started. Mr Peers said the gun got caught in Mr Walden’s jacket pocket, and Nash pulled the trigger. However, Mr Walden was unharmed.

The jury heard how Nash and Appleby then went downstairs, saying they needed more bullets - and how Mr Walden saw his chance to escape through a window, before hiding in bushes.

The court was told he then made his way to Thorpe Wood Police Station.

Appleby-Johnson and Nash were arrested a few days later.

Mr Peers said: “Both defendants deny they were in possession of a gun, deny assaulting and robbing him, deny blackmail and deny false imprisonment.

“They say Mr Walden was there asking for money in relation to drugs Appleby had bought from him.”

Mr Peers said Nash and Appleby-Johnson say a fourth man came into the house, armed with a gun, and a scuffle broke out after he was told ‘Appleby was not playing ball.’

Mr Peers said during the scuffle, the gun went off.

Mr Peers also confirmed a burglary had been reported at the Eyrescroft address before the alleged incident occurred.

Both Nash and Appleby-Johnson are of no fixed abode, and deny all charges against them.

The trial continues.