Armed robbery allegations examined by jury in Orange NSW trial

IN THE BALANCE: A jury is weighing conflicting statements given in a trial for two men who have pleaded not guilty to armed robbery offences. FILE PHOTO
IN THE BALANCE: A jury is weighing conflicting statements given in a trial for two men who have pleaded not guilty to armed robbery offences. FILE PHOTO

Two cousins accused of involvement in a robbery against a woman and her son could find out their fate early this week.

A jury is expected to come to a decision on whether or not the men are guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

Allan Edwards, 28, of Bourke, also known as Allan Moore, and Kurt Douglas Edwards, 28, of Orange, have pleaded not guilty to four charges, including two charges of robbery armed with an offensive weapon, and two charges of robbery while armed with a dangerous weapon.

They were accused of going to a house in Lords Place seeking illicit drugs on May 21, 2016, but when they were told there were no drugs, it’s alleged a firearm was pointed at a woman in the backyard and at a 13-year-old boy, who was inside the house.

It was alleged a man made the boy lie on the floor, and a woman’s handbag, an iPad and iPhone were stolen. 

During a week-long trial in Orange District Court last week, the jury heard from the female victim, the child, police, and a co-accused Alicia Marie Howarth, who was fined $800 last year for concealing information about the case.

Howarth appeared after being arrested on a warrant for not complying with a subpoena to attend court.

The crown prosecutor noted that Howarth appeared reluctant to give evidence against the men, and the defence said she had given three different accounts, the first of which on May 23 did not place either man at the scene at the time of the robbery.

However, she gave a second statement about an hour after the first one on May 23 and in that account, as well as in court last week, she placed both men at the scene, as well as a fourth man, who she claimed punched and kicked the victim, not the two accused.

Initial reports were that a firearm and tomahawk were used in the robbery, but on Friday the prosecutor removed the small axe from the charges after a tomahawk police found in Howarth’s car could not be connected to the alleged offence. 

The court heard that the tomahawk was not taken into evidence and no firearm was ever located. 

Howarth denied there was a firearm but the victims said there was.

Barristers Bill Walsh and Jack Cairn, who represent Kurt Edwards and Allan Edwards respectively, said their clients were not at the house at the time of the robbery, although Allan was there earlier.

Both barristers, the crown prosecutor and Judge Rodney Madgwick addressed the jury on Friday, with the decision to be announced this week.

DO YOU WANT MORE ORANGE NEWS?

  • Receive our free newsletter delivered to your inbox every morning, as well as breaking news alerts. Sign up here