The Millennium Dome Bombing Saga


MD News
2004Thursday, 2004/01/22
Dome Raiders' Appeal Flops

ArrestsEven though the judge dozed off during a closing speech, the gang which assaulted the Millennium Diamond exhibit at the Dome received a fair trial, the Court of Appeal has decided.
   Lawyers for two of the ringleaders of the robbery attempt tried to make out that Judge Martin Ancoome was asleep for most of the trial, that his snoring had kept everyone else awake and prejudiced the jury, and that the convictions were unsafe.
   A witness said that the judge appeared to nod off several times and wake up with a start. She also claimed that she heard noises that sounded like snoring. Mr. Justice Ancoome has admitted nodding off during the lengthy trial but he denies snoring. One of the court officers also recalled seeing a member of the jury doze off.
   The trio of judges hearing the appeals admitted that it is 'essential' that judges should remain awake during the whole of a trial but they said that the snoring issue was irrelevant.
   Scott Chatham, counsel for gang leader Alan Redmond, disagreed with them on the issue of snoring. He admitted that anyone can suffer momentary lapses of concentration but the judge actually going to sleep was bound to deflect the jury's attention, particularly if he drew attention to himself by snoring.
   And even if the judge had dropped off only during closing speeches, that would still have been prejudicial, Mr. Chatham felt. He added that it would create the impression that the judge felt that his client's case was so weak that it was not worth bothering to stay awake.
   Olive O'Blunt, counsel for Walter Denisov, added that Mr. Justice Anscoome had intervened excessively when the defendants and their witnesses had been giving evidence. She said that the trial judge had abandoned the role of umpire at times and bowled a series of bouncers at her client and the others.
   Lord Justice Archer said that while it was 'highly regrettable' that Mr. Justice Ancoome had fallen asleep, he had not failed to sum up significant evidence, his conduct of the trial had been fair and the convictions were sound. Alan Redmond and Walter Denisov were, therefore, refused leave to challenge their convictions. The ringleaders also appealed against the lengths of their sentences and the court is hearing these appeals today.
   Eustace Carmaggio and Michael Ianbow chose not to lodge appeals and the fifth man arrested at the Dome, Peter Burnside, has died in prison. Karl Malvern, who was arrested in the decoy speedboat, has already lost an appeal against his 5-year sentence for conspiracy to steal.

filed by Faraday Grange []


MD News
2004Friday, 2004/01/23
Leniency For Dome Raiders

display case
The Millennium Star's display case – shattered
Although they failed to win leave to challenge their convictions for trying to steal a fortune in diamonds from the Millennium Dome, the ringleaders of the gang did get something out of their trip to the Court of Appeal. The appeal judges ruled that the convictions were safe, even if Mr. Justice Ancoome had nodded off during the trial, but they felt that his sentences were somewhat excessive.
   Alan Redmond (22 years), Walter Denisov (22 years), Eustace Carmaggio (15 years) and Michael Ianbow (18 years) each had their sentence cut by 3 years. They smiled at supporters in the public gallery, who cheered as Lord Justice Archer announced the reduced sentences (until quietened by ushers).
   Lord Archer added that the gang had plotted what would have been the biggest robbery in British criminal history, had it succeeded. Their crime was meticulously planned over many months, and thwarted only by alert policing.

filed by Faraday Grange []


MD News
2004Wednesday, 2004/02/25
Greenwich Development Plan
Gets Green Light

A scheme to turn the site of the former Millennium Dome into a what is being called 'Millennium City' has been given the go-ahead by Greenwich Council. Twelve thousand new homes, schools, retail premises, a hospital and appropriate transport links will be constructed on the extensive site in addition to major entertainment and sports facilities.
   The government will be making a contribution to the infrastructure costs on the understanding that the sports facilities will be of a standard sufficient to host events in a future Olympic Games held in London. Anschluss Entertainment International (AEI) also plans to build a 25,000-seat arena for top attractions on the south east London site.
   A planning agreement for the Greenwich Peninsula was signed on last night by Greenwich Council and representatives of AEI. Work on the project is expected to start in the spring of 2005.
   Christa Robbage, the leader of Greenwich Council, said: "We plan to build a brand new community on land which was once derelict. We have always believed that the site of the Millennium Dome would have a much a longer-term legacy. And without the Dome, we would not have been able to realize so much of our regeneration vision so quickly."
   The possibilities offered by the former Dome site have featured prominently in London's bid to host the Olympics in 2012. Exactly how much government money [That's taxpayers' money as the government has none of its own. Ed.] will be spent on providing infrastructure for the private areas of the development is still a closely guarded secret.
   Anyone with two brain-cells to rub together would be advised to take the price the government announces if it can get the Games, and then multiply by four.

filed by Faraday Grange []


MD News
2004Wednesday, 2004/05/19
Dome diamond heist JCB
to become a film star?
Dome robbery JCB
2000: The JCB with police vans
The JCB used in the failed attempt to steal a diamond collection worth £400 million from the Millennium Dome in 2000 has been sold to a Cheshire businessman for £11,000. A digger of the same vintage would normally fetch £4-5,000. This one still bears scars from crashing through the boundary fence and then a set of reinforced plastic double doors. But it has history attached to it.
   Mr. Bryan Jones, a developer and chairman of Disley Wanderers FC, acquired the vehicle at an auction of property recovered from convicted criminals last month. He said, "It was used in a job on the same scale as the Great Train Robbery and people want to see it. I have put it on display at my little football club and it is already a very popular attraction at events to raise money for the club."

   Big idea came to nothing

The gang which went after the Millennium Collection of diamonds hoped to use the JCB to break into the Dome. Then, they planned to incapacitate anyone in their path with smoke bombs and ammonia sprays while they broke the diamonds out of their display cases. Unfortunately, the police had penetrated their conspiracy, fake diamonds were on show on the day of the robbery and more than 100 police officers were standing by to arrest the raiders.
   Mr. Jones added that he has already been approached by a film company which hopes to make a movie about the failed robbery. "Nothing has been set in stone just yet," he commented, "but things are looking good. This is a story that just begs to be filmed, and using authentic props will give it an added touch of interest."
   Unfortunately for the film company, they will have to recreate the Millennium Dome in their studios as it was destroyed in February 2001 when a light aircraft crashed onto it. The exact circumstances of that event, accident or otherwise, have never been uncovered satisfactorily. Maybe someone could make a film about the Dome's demise, too!

filed by Faraday Grange []


MD News
2004Friday, 2004/06/18
Dome site development deal
signed at last
Burt Makin
Makin: Contract signed
credit: Allpix Inc.
Commercial contracts for the £5.8 billion development of the former Millennium Dome site and the surrounding area have been signed by Greenwich Council, Anschluss Entertainment International (the owner of the Dome site) and NovaM Developments. The Greenwich Peninsula Development Plan will create 12,000 new homes, business premises and entertainment, leisure and sports facilites.
   The work is expected to start later this year. The regeneration of this neglected area of south-east London area is expected to create 25,000 new, permanent jobs over the next twenty years. Construction of the housing estate will start in 2006. The sports facilities, which feature in London's bid for the 2012 Olympic Games, are scheduled for completion by the spring of 2010.
   After the signing, NMD director Burt Makin commented, "Our mission is to establish new benchmarks for urban mixed-use developments. We will move forward confident that the Greenwich Peninsula will become one of London's finest districts. Here, we will create a unique blend of entertainment, business, residential and community interfaces."
   AEI is the world's largest owner of sports teams in the world, and its portfolio includes a range of top stars of the music industry, who will perform in AEI's new arena. When operated by the government, the Millennium Dome became a sink for National Lottery funds and it attracted only half of the predicted monthly visitor rate.
   The Dome's fortunes improved radically when the ownership passed to the consortium led by Lucrio Sospettoso, who provided a number of free holidays to former prime minister Angus McBlair and at least six members of his Cabinet along the road to his purchase. With able assistance and inspiration from Gusvion Holdings, the future of the Dome was looking distinctly rosy at the time of its destruction in February 2001.

filed by Faraday Grange []

In 2004
Created for Romiley Literary Circle by HTSP Web Division, 10/12 SK6 4EG, Romiley, GB. Sole RLC, 2006