A member of the Islington gang accused of stealing £1m worth of watches and jewellery in smash-and-grab motorbike raids has been cleared of armed robbery.
Reece Jackson, 19, of Holly Park Estate in Finsbury Park, was accused of robbery with an imitation firearm at Hush Jewellers on Rosebery Avenue, Clerkenwell in May last year.
Mr Jackson had already pleaded guilty to conspiracy to burgle and admitted being present at 12 different raids over the course of last summer.
Had he been found guilty of the more serious armed offence, Mr Jackson would have faced a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Judge Anthony Pitts, presiding at Southwark Crown Court, said that as witnesses described the four robbers as white males, and Mr Jackson is of mixed race, it was unlikely that he was present at the raid.
Defence counsel Jeremy Wainwright called the evidence against Mr Jackson “vague and insubstantial”.
Judge Pitts said: “I accept the defence’s argument that there is no charge for Mr Jackson to answer in the case of Hush Jewellery.”
Mr Jackson and his co-defendants Daniel White, Paul Fearn, Grant McCarroll and Steven Dedman, openly celebrated the ruling, and mocked the policemen who were in court to assist the prosecution.
The trial continues.