Gunbattle 'like cheap film'

POLICE fired 53 shots in a gunbattle with five armed robbers on a busy Kowloon street just like a scene in a ''cheap movie'', the High Court was told.

Senior Crown Counsel Wayne Muttrie said two robbers were shot dead in the battle and the others surrendered.

Two have admitted the charges and will be sentenced later. The fifth man went on trial before Mr Justice Duffy and a jury yesterday.

Illegal immigrant Siu Wai, 27, faces five charges, related to the robbery of gold jewellery and watches worth more than $2 million from the Chow Tai Fook goldsmith shop in Prince Edward Road, Kowloon City, on December 2, last year.

He is also charged with others of possessing four Chinese self-loading pistols and ammunition and three fragmentation grenades without licences.

The remaining charges are shooting with intent to resist lawful apprehension and false imprisonment of a taxi driver.

In his opening address, Mr Muttrie said the five masked men, who were also armed with screwdrivers, entered the shop and ordered staff and customers to squat.

Showcases were then smashed and items valued at $2,023,416 taken.

The robbery was recorded on video cameras in the shop.

A police officer near the shop called for reinforcements.

The robbers and police exchanged fire. The robbers ran into a subway and out into Olympic Park where more shots were fired.

The gang ran through the park and the gunbattle continued. One of the robbers was killed.

The other four ran onto a busy road where they tried unsuccessfully to hijack a tourist bus.

They hijacked a taxi and forced the driver to drive away. Mr Muttrie said two women were in the taxi unknown to the police.

The taxi travelled 30 to 40 metres and then crashed into roadworks.

The driver leaped out when the taxi came to rest in a hole.

Grenades were thrown from the taxi but did not explode.

Police used tear-gas and the firing stopped.

Three robbers surrendered and the fourth was found dead in the front seat of the taxi.

The women were rescued unharmed.

The jury watched the video of the robbery.

The hearing continues.