Essex: Woman 'Didn't Know Bars Were Gold'

A woman from Harlow who was caught with two gold bars in her bra told police she did not know what they were, jurors have heard.

Sheron Mancini said she found two objects in her coat pocket after being frisked by Belgian police.

She allegedly told a federal detective inspector, Tom DeBlock: "I found them in the pocket of my jacket. I was so terrified I put them in my bra."

She added: "As I put my coat on, I felt there were two unidentified objects in my pocket.

"I felt these were not right and put them in my bra. I never even looked to see what it was."

Insp DeBlock told the Old Bailey Mancini said it was only later when she was strip-searched by a woman officer that she realised they were gold bars.

She had taken off her bra, folded it and put it in a basket. "As the officer picked up the bra, two gold bars fell out," she said in an interview.

Mancini, 53, had denied knowing the bars were from a £1 million bullion robbery in Belgium by a British gang. She was arrested in October last year on her way to a ferry for Britain with her boyfriend David Gale who was one of the robbers, the court heard.

Mancini, of Parkfields, Roydon, Harlow, John Corley, 52, of Tankerton Road, Whitstable, Kent, Kyriacos Nicolas, 30, of The Chine, Winchmore Hill, north London, and his father Andreas, 50, of Bankesmead, Duxford, Cambridgeshire, deny conspiring to launder the proceeds of crime.

Corley and Kyriacos, who along with his father was described as a wealthy businessman, also deny conspiracy to steal. Six British men, including Gale, 55, and David Chatwood, 58, both of Essex, have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal.