A dad accused of being part of a robbery gang who used a chainsaw to hold up a city jewellers wept as he denied his role in the plot, saying he was caring for his dying wife and his children.
John Boy Morrison, 40, and three other men are accused of conspiring to rob WS jewellers, off Westgate, and two other Asian jewellery stores in Huddersfield and Batley between February and April 2012.
A Leeds Crown Court jury has heard how £150,000 of gems and £4,000 in cash were stolen in the Wakefield raid on April 14 last year.
A robber used a running chainsaw to scare off anyone thinking about intervening.
But a tearful Morrison, giving evidence on Wednesday, said: “How could I plan any robberies with my wife sick and dying?”
He said his wife died from cancer in March last year and he was left to look after his three children, aged five to 15.
Morrison added: “I don’t know nothing about any robberies.
“I’ve never done any robberies. I’m looking after my children.”
Standing trial alongside Morrison, of Cottingley Springs caravan site, Gildersome, are Patrick Lowther, 33, of Castle Lodge Gardens, Rothwell, Steven Barker, 35, of Merchant Court, East Bowling, Bradford, and Garner Smith, 33, of Montrose Street, Bolton Woods, Bradford.
They all deny the conspiracy charge.
But prosecutor Rob Mairs said: “It’s the prosecution’s case that these four defendants committed these robberies and attempted robbery.
“They deny any involvement in any of these.”
The trial continues.