Three men have appeared in court and denied stealing jewellery from an elderly couple’s home while armed with pickaxes.

All three men are charged with entering a home in Timberlog Lane, Basildon, on Friday, September 22, and stealing items of jewellery from the elderly homeowners.

The trio are alleged to have been armed with pickaxes when the raid took place.

The elderly man and woman are aged 97 and 87 respectively.

It is alleged that at about 3.40pm the suspects smashed their way into the Basildon home through a back door window and threatened the two homeowners before making off with the stolen jewellery.

The haul consisted of a gold bracelet and four necklaces.

The men all pleaded not guilty to one count of aggravated burglary before Recorder Gerard Pounder at Southend Crown Court, in Victoria Avenue, yesterday morning.

Sean Byrne, 30, of no fixed address, and Joe Haide, 29, of Lincoln Road, Basildon, appeared via videolink from Chelmsford prison.

Byrne was wearing a white shirt and jeans while Haide was wearing a prison-issue grey tracksuit.

Victor Oladipo, 18, of Arne Court, Laindon appeared in person wearing a black Puffa jacket with a white shirt, jeans and white trainers.

A trial date was set for March 5 next year at Southend Crown Court and Recorder Pounder determined that it should last no more than five days.

Prosecuting barrister Andrew Jackson asked the court that a date be set for defence teams to determine whether one of the elderly witnesses would be required to be cross-examined.

He added that if it was necessary, she would have to give evidence via videolink to which Recorder Pounder agreed.

He said: “Victor Oladipo is on bail. Unless there is any objections I will agree bail continues on the same terms.

“The two defendants in custody will have to stay there.”

Addressing Oladipo he added: “You have an obligation to turn up when your trial is listed.

“If you don’t turn up, you will be committing an offence under the Bail Act.

“The Crown may also ask the court to proceed with the trial in your absence.

“Make sure you’re here on March 5 next year.”

Both Byrne and Haide will remain in custody at Chelmsford Prison until the trial date next year.