AN ALLEGED Dome raider joked about having a blinding Christmas' if he had got away with the robbery of the Millennium, the Old Bailey heard.

Robert Adams, aged 57, was caught just inches away from the £200m De Beers diamond collection at the Dome, after he hit the glass cabinet with a sledgehammer.

In a statement read to the court, forensic expert Brian McNamara said Adams had told him: "I was going to have a blinding Christmas. I couldn't believe how easy the glass went."

William Cockran, 48, of Penberth Road, Catford, Aldo Ciarocchi, 31, of Balaclava Road, Rotherhithe, Adams and Raymond Betson, 39, both of no fixed address, have admitted conspiracy to steal but deny conspiracy to rob.

Kevin Meredith, 34, of Aukland Drive, Brighton, denies conspiracy to rob and steal. The trial continues.