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Pair who wielded hunting knife and fake gun get 17 years’ jail for £47,000 masked raid on Beccles jewellers

PUBLISHED: 17:14 26 May 2017 | UPDATED: 07:37 27 May 2017

Kerron Turner. Picture: Suffolk Police.

Kerron Turner. Picture: Suffolk Police.

Archant

Two men who were involved in a £47,000 armed robbery at a Beccles jewellers have been jailed for a total of more than 17 years.

Aaron Knights. Picture: Suffolk Police. Aaron Knights. Picture: Suffolk Police.

During the raid the owner of Copperfield jewellers in New Market was confronted by two masked men brandishing a realistic looking imitation shotgun and a hunting knife while two other members of the gang emptied trays of jewellery into bags, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Before the court were Kerron Turner, 26, formerly of York Road, Great Yarmouth and The Greenway in Beccles and Aaron Knights, 25, formerly of York Road, Great Yarmouth.

Turner was found guilty of robbery and possessing an imitation firearm with intent at the jewellers on September 16 after a trial in March.

He admitted handling stolen goods, theft, dangerous driving, driving without insurance and driving without a licence.

Copperfield jewellers in Beccles, where the robbery was carried out. Picture: Archant. Copperfield jewellers in Beccles, where the robbery was carried out. Picture: Archant.

He was jailed for ten years and ten months and banned from driving for 89 months.

Knights admitted being involved in the robbery, possessing a sawn-off imitation shotgun and asked for five offences to be considered. He was jailed for six years and six months.

Andrea Lock, prosecuting, said the owner of the jewellers was working alone in his shop at around 4pm when four men entered the premises. Two of them were armed with an imitation gun and a knife while the other two removed jewellery from display trays.

A week later police had tried to stop a car driven by Turner in Lowestoft and during the chase that followed he had driven at 50-60mph in 30mph speed limits.

He had also driven the wrong way round a roundabout and over crossroads without stopping before ending up in a field after crashing through a fence.

Turner had also stolen two gold chains worth £4,100 from a shop in Great Yarmouth and handled a £40,000 Land Rover Discovery which had been stolen with two Range Rovers from Marshalls in Halesworth.

In a letter Turner apologised for his offending and said he wanted to change his ways.

Nicola May for Knights, said her client owed money to drug dealers and was “ashamed” of being involved in the robbery.

Detective Inspector Simon Bridgland, who led the investigation into the robbery, said: “This was a frightening incident for the victim who was working at the jewellers at the time of the attack. He has shown great courage throughout and we’d like to thank him and other members of the public who got in touch to pass on information following the incident for their assistance.

“This was a complex investigation, with a number of arrests made and extensive enquiries carried out to gather sufficient evidence to prosecute, and I’d also like to thank the officers involved for their hard work which saw Knights admit his involvement and Turner convicted by a jury.

“We’re pleased they have now been jailed. Incidents of this nature remain comparatively rare in Suffolk and this sends a strong message to those who commit such offences that you will be caught and will face a substantial prison sentence.”

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