max temp: 11°C

min temp: 8°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Leiston: Couple’s message to knife raider: ‘We forgive you’

06:00 05 December 2012

Canon Basil Jenkyns and his wife Jean were robbed at knife point in their home. 

Basil has decided to forgive the the person who did this to them.

Canon Basil Jenkyns and his wife Jean were robbed at knife point in their home. Basil has decided to forgive the the person who did this to them.


THE VICTIMS of a terrifying knife-point burglary have told the former soldier who broke into their home: “We forgive you.”


Retired vicar Reverend Basil Jenkyns and his wife Jean, both in their 80s, said their concern now was for the welfare of teenager Kenneth Doyle after he was sentenced to four years in prison.

The Grenadier Guard - now 18 - claimed he was so desperate to leave the army he went absent without leave and committed the crime as a “spectacularly stupid” way of quitting the forces.

During the raid Doyle, who was just 17 at the time, burst into the couple’s bedroom brandishing a 12” carving knife which he then held against Mrs Jenkyns face while he demanded the car keys.

Speaking to the East Anglian Daily Times after the sentence Canon Jenkyns, who holds the title of Canon of Wells Cathedral in Somerset, said he and his wife had hoped Doyle would have been spared jail.

“I bear him no malice whatsoever,” he said. “I say ‘forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us’ every Sunday. If you can’t put those words into practice it’s a bad job.

“I just think he was an idiot. I’m just incredibly thankful he came to us and did not go to one of the other houses close to us.

“I would not like to see him damaged for life and want him to learn from it and be able to pick himself up. But I think he will have a heck of a job.

“He needs to realise what he did was criminal but I think society needs to think of how do we stop this chap going down the wrong road in future.

“This is going to destroy his life. I feel terribly bad about that because he’s only 18. He’s hurt his family. In one moment of sheer lunacy he’s wrecked his life.”

Canon Jenkyns said the couple managed to retain their composure even though they were awoken by Doyle after he smashed through their front door. Canon Jenkyns even tried to reason with the soldier as he became more and more agitated.

He added: “I said ‘you are a bloody loony – you will be in serious, serious trouble for all this’. He said ‘I am already. I’m AWOL’.

“I wasn’t quite sure whether it was a dream. It was all over so quickly. The police were marvellous.”

Ipswich Crown Court heard how Doyle had been drinking before breaking in to the house in Leiston at around 2.30am on July 29 this year.

After putting the couple through the ordeal he fled in Canon Jenkyns’ Vauxhall Corsa before stopping just a mile down the road.

A police officer who approached the car heard the sound of sobbing and when he told Doyle to get out the defendant told him: “I’ve done a stupid thing. I didn’t want to be in the army any more. I just want to go to prison.”

A breath test showed that Doyle was just over the legal drink limit.

Doyle, of St Margaret’s Crescent, Leiston, admitted robbery and drink driving. He was sentenced to four years detention in a young offender’s insitution and banned from driving for 12 months.

Sentencing him Judge David Goodin described the offence as “exceptionally serious”. “You came through the bedroom door with a knife in your hand. It is difficult to imagine anything more frightening short of a fatality,” the judge said.

He accepted Doyle had been unhappy in the army and may have committed the robbery as a way of getting out.

He said that Doyle holding he knife against Mrs Jenkyns’ cheek must have been an “indescribably frightening experience” for her but he accepted that he felt genuine remorse for what he had done.

David Wilson, for Doyle, said his client had joined the army after leaving school at 16 because he wanted to help support his family who were in debt.

However, he had been unhappy and had committed the offence as a “specacularly stupid” way of getting out of the army after reaching the end of his tether.

“There were a number of ways he could have ended his army career but this was as foolish and stupid as it gets,” said Mr Wilson.


1 comment

  • Isn't it time we changed the law so that you are not forced to stay in the army to prevent incidents like these? Is it such a terrible job that they have to force people to stay? It's probably illegal in the European Court of Human Rights anyway.

    Report this comment

    Ted Maul

    Wednesday, December 5, 2012

There has been a crash on the A12

Part of the A12 which was shut because of collision has been reopened.

A parade of puppets, live bands, fireworks and a packed Angel Hill, Abbey Gardens and town centre - the annual Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre

Tens of thousands of people swarmed to west Suffolk this weekend for what organisers expect to have been a record breaking Christmas Fayre.

Mick Mills and Bobby Robson with the UEFA Cup in 1981. (Photo Dave Kindred/Archant)

A local football story jumped from the sports pages to take over the EADT’s main news spot on November 30, 1981.

Hadleigh High Street

After 16 years running her shop from the same building, Barbara Boyd is ready to take it up a gear as she moves into new premises.

CQC inspectors' decision backed by tribunal. Stock image.

The manager of a Clacton care home where a patient had an ulcer so bad the bone was visible has lost an appeal to get their registration back.

A Colchester young carer, who helps her single mum look after her two sickly little brothers, was a runner–up in Essex Young People of the Year.
Katie Kilpatrick, of Havering Close, received an award known as a ‘YOPEY’, at a lavish ceremony in London this weekend. Left to right, Christopher Merrett, Katie Kilpatrick, Alexander Merrett.

A teenage carer who helps her single mum look after her two brothers who both have complex health needs has been named runner-up in Essex Young People of the Year.

George Woodward, three, with his mum Laura Barber, dad Lee Woodward and little sister Ivy, is receiving funds for a new wheelchair.

One young boy’s family are celebrating today after the Sir Bobby Robson online auction raised enough money to buy him a new power wheelchair.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the East Anglian Daily Times e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24