Lowestoft man used toy gun to steal can of Dr Pepper from kebab shop

Daniel Burrows, of London Road South in Lowestoft

Daniel Burrows, of London Road South in Lowestoft - Credit: Suffolk Police

A Lowestoft man who threatened a kebab shop owner with a toy gun while stealing a can of Dr Pepper has been jailed for 40 months.

Daniel Burrows went to Kings Kebab in London Road South, where he was a regular customer, at 11.30pm on September 21 and said he wanted some free food and drink, Ipswich Crown Court heard on Monday, January 17.

When the shopkeeper refused, Burrows’ took out a toy gun from the waistband of his trousers and waved it around.

Prosecutor Sarah Milroy said the shop owner had been scared as he couldn’t tell if the gun was real or not.

Burrows had taken a can of Dr Pepper from a fridge and left after tucking the toy gun back into his waistband.

After leaving the store, he approached a man who was about to let himself into his accommodation in London Road South and told him: “I need to get through to the back.”

He followed the man into the building and as the man was walking upstairs to his flat he turned round and saw Burrows pointing a gun at him.

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Miss Milroy said: “He thought it looked like a Glock pistol and he was in shock.

Kings Kebab House Kirkley Lowestoft

Kings Kebab House on London Road South, Kirkley in Lowestoft. - Credit: Mick Howes

"He ran upstairs and knocked on a friend’s door and called the police."

Burrows had gone to the home of a woman he knew and called his mental health team.

The woman described Burrows as being “manic and then normal” and while he was at her flat he had briefly left before returning without the gun.

The NHS First Response mental health team reported Burrows' call to the police where he had said he had a loaded gun.

Armed officers arrived in the area and Burrows was found and arrested just before 1am on London Road Routh. He was taken to Great Yarmouth Police Investigation Centre for questioning.

During questioning, he disclosed that the gun was gas-powered and had been stripped to make it inoperable. Burrows said he had hidden it in a wall off Bixley Green where it was later recovered by police and established as defective.

Burrows, 33, of London Road South, Lowestoft, admitted possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, robbery, possession of a knife and possession of cannabis, and was jailed for 44 months.

He was sentenced to 32 months for robbery and eight months for possession of an imitation firearm. The two will be served consecutively, for a 40-month sentence. Burrows was also ordered to pay a £190 victim surcharge.

Daniel Burrows, of London Road South in Lowestoft

Daniel Burrows, of London Road South in Lowestoft - Credit: Suffolk Police

Miss Milroy said the knife offence related to Burrows going into a Co-op store in London Road South dressed in a dinosaur onesie and producing a knife which he used to help an assistant cut open a box.

He had then put the knife back inside his clothing but the assistant had called the police because she was concerned he had a knife.

Jude Durr, defending, said Burrows' mental health had deteriorated prior to the offences.

He had spent his childhood in care and since then had issues with drink and drugs and had been homeless.

Detective Constable Edward Vincent said: “Daniel Burrows is vulnerable due to his mental health, but his use and consumption of narcotics does not help his mental health in any way.

"Prior to this offence, he made indications that he wished to seek medical help for a mental health episode he felt he was having.

"However, his intent on using a firearm to commit an offence and gaining possession of this prior to the incident shows a degree of forward planning.

"The gravity of the offence and the threat and stress imposed on members of the public is, without doubt, massive.”