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Lowestoft: Masked robbers jailed

PUBLISHED: 09:06 01 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:27 06 July 2010

A SUPERMARKET supervisor who was threatened with a kitchen knife and hit over the back of the head during a raid by two masked robbers collapsed following the incident, a court has heard.

A SUPERMARKET supervisor who was threatened with a kitchen knife and hit over the back of the head during a raid by two masked robbers collapsed following the incident, a court has heard.

David Buckenham was at work at the Co-op store in Pakefield in the early evening of February 17 when he was confronted by a man wearing a balaclava over his face, Ipswich Crown Court was told.

The man pointed a kitchen knife at his head and shouted “Give me the money,” said Lindsay Cox, prosecuting.

As Mr Buckenham tried to run behind the shop counter he was hit over the back of the head and knocked to the floor.

He was then forced to hand over £355 from the till before the man brandishing the knife and a second man who was waiting by the shop entrance had run off laughing, said Mr Cox.

Following the incident Mr Buckenham had collapsed in shock and had suffered from headaches as a result of the blow to his head.

In a victim statement he said he no longer felt safe following the robbery and was considering changing jobs, said Mr Cox.

The court heard that a customer, an engineer and another member of staff had shut themselves in a store room during the robbery.

Before the court were Robert Willgoss, 20, of Dell Road, Lowestoft and Ryan Bowles, 20, of Jasmine Green, Lowestoft. They both admitted robbery and were each sentenced to three years detention in a young offenders' institution.

Bowles also admitted burglary, making off without payment and breach of a suspended sentence and was sentenced to ten months detention to run consecutively to the three years, less 185 days he has spent in custody.

Mr Cox told the court that on May 21 Bowles had been involved in a burglary at a house in Upper Grange Road, Beccles during which he was confronted by the owner.

Bowles had made his escape after punching the man in the face but was arrested by police 20 minutes later.

Robin Dupreez for Willgoss described the robbery as “amateurish” and said it had been thought up shortly before in a local pub.

He said that at the time Willgoss had been “down” after being turned down by the army, having his bicycle stolen and having a £200 drug debt.

Mr Dupreez said Willgoss had been the man standing at the door and had not hit Mr Buckenham.

Matthew Gowan for Bowles said not much planning had gone into the robbery and thankfully Mr Buckenham hadn't been seriously injured.

He said at the time of the robbery Bowles was homeless, estranged from his family and owed money for drugs.


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