December 7 2013 Latest news:
Friday, September 6, 2013
A mother-of-two threatened in a knifepoint mugging which yielded just £25 today said she hoped the young robber finds redemption in prison.
Joshua Potkins, of Cromwell Square, Ipswich, carried out the mid-morning attack in front of the woman’s two children in Christchurch Park, Ipswich.
Potkins is now facing a lengthy prison term at his Ipswich Crown Court sentencing next Wednesday after admitting robbing the 38-year-old.
The 21-year-old also pleaded guilty to possessing a cleaver. He is currently remanded in custody.
His victim, who asked not to be identified, said: “I hope he gets the strongest sentence available and he takes any rehabilitation that is offered to him seriously.
“He obviously needs some help and guidance and I hope he works on making himself a better person. I am sure he can’t be happy if this is the sort of thing he resorts to.”
The woman, who lives in Ipswich, is now wary when she takes her daughter, aged three, and her one-year-old son to the town centre park. However, she refuses to let what happened deter her from returning.
She said: “I don’t think I will ever be able to enjoy Christchurch Park as much as I used to.
“I make a point of going back to the park, but I don’t feel as if I can go to the quieter areas like I used to.
“I have always felt safe in Ipswich and incredibly safe in Christchurch Park.
“With young kids a park like that is going to be a big part of your life.
“I mix with other mums and it’s really impacted on everyone I know.
“I always try to meet someone when I go there. I don’t like to go there on my own.
“I am really pleased the police found him and that he’s pleaded guilty. The police have been absolutely amazing. They have been so supportive – I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”
The robbery occurred after the woman and her children had been feeding the ducks.
They then walked towards the tennis courts with the mother pushing a pram.
As they were doing so Potkins stood in front of the woman and demanded her purse.
In his hand was what was described as a meat-type cleaver.
His victim screamed and shouted for help.
Potkins then butted her, causing a cut to her forehead.
The woman fled in the hope drawing Potkins away from her children would protect them. Potkins chased after her before she felt three or four blows to her back.
The woman then handed over her purse and the £25 contents from her bag.
In addition to the cut to her head, the woman was also said to have received two cuts to her hands.
When Potkins was arrested the cleaver was found tucked in one of his socks.