Two suspected robbers accused of killing a shopkeeper by pushing him in front of a lorry denied manslaughter yesterday at the Old Bailey.

Debidas Sumskas, 25, of Ottley Road in Stratford and Edgaras Balezantis, 25, of Tollgate Road in East Ham allegedly took part in an armed raid on a cash and carry business run by father-of-two Shammi Atwal.

The 45-year-old, of Chigwell, was killed trying to protect his wife and business Glen & Co cash and carry, in River Road, Barking, from a group of 10 thieves on October 14.

The businessman died after being hit by an HGV while in pursuit of the men as they ran from his shop.

Police say he was pushed in front of the vehicle, the driver of which stopped at the scene and was not arrested.

He was pronounced dead at the scene after suffering multiple injuries.

In February four other men denied manslaughter and conspiracy to rob and have been remanded in custody.

They are Vidmantas Gonskoves, 26, of Grange Road, in Plaistow; Farhan Sheikh, 38, of Thornhill Gardens, in Barking; and Reiniks Kivers, 28, and Aurimas Diliunas, 27, both of no fixed address.

They will go on trial at the Old Bailey on April 7.