A MAN has denied involvement in a violent Carlisle jewellery shop robbery, telling a jury he only drove 100 miles to the city to sell a car he had stolen.

Daniel Burtak, 32, and 36-year-old Ashley Entwistle are on trial.

Both deny being the masked crooks who entered St Nicholas Galleries, on June 6, and robbed owner Craig Carruthers of jewellery before fleeing the scene in a Ford Fiesta.

Mr Carruthers suffered a broken nose when punched by one intruder while bravely trying to protect his Bank Street store, staff and stock.

Giving evidence, Burtak admitted stealing the Fiesta in his home town of Bolton before travelling to Carlisle after agreeing to sell it.

He drove in convoy with pal Entwistle, of Athlone Avenue, Bolton, who agreed to transport an Audi for the return journey. He didn’t know Burtak’s sale plan nor that both vehicles bore false number plates.

Burtak said he met his contact at Chatsworth Square, handing over the Fiesta after learning he’d receive jewellery as payment from two brothers. Those brothers were at the rendezvous point and, Burtak said, drove the car away before later returning on foot with a bag containing gold chains.

“I had a look at the chains in there. I was happy with the payment. I put it in my pocket. I said my goodbyes and left,” Burtak told jurors.

He walked to the Audi and Entwistle. “I just told him I was sorted, that we could leave,” Burtak said.

“He didn’t have a clue.”

Both men were arrested after the Audi was stopped on the M6 southbound.

Most of the jewellery was recovered.

Burtak’s barrister, Andrew Scott, asked: “Were you either of the masked men who robbed Mr Craig Carruthers of jewellery?” Burtak replied: “No.”

“Were you the masked robber who assaulted Craig Carruthers?” asked Mr Scott.

Burtak responded: “No. I would never do that.”

Mr Scott asked: “Were you aware that the Fiesta that you stole would be used in a robbery?” Burtak said: “Not a robbery at all. No.”

Entwistle, who received a life jail sentence in 2002 for wounding with intent, told jurors he had “adapted” to life outside after his 2014 release, and didn’t want to return to prison.

His barrister, Tony Hawks, asked of the Carlisle crime: “Were you in any way involved in that robbery?”

“No,” Entwistle replied.

The trial continues.