Braintree drug user who robbed and burgled to fund habit gets four years in prison

Lee Brooker

Lee Brooker - Credit: Archant

A man whose “despicable actions” struck fear into shop staff members has been jailed for four years.

Lee Brooker robbed a convenience store and committed burglaries in Braintree to fund his drug habit.

Brooker entered the Co-op in Mountbatten Road around 9.20pm on October 26 last year and threatened staff with a knife.

He demanded they open the till before grabbing a three-figure sum of cash and fleeing.

Two days earlier, in the early hours October 24, the 34-year-old from Bocking End in Braintree, targeted Braintree Pharmacy in Great Square.

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He smashed a glass panel in the front door and made off with 25 bottles of diazepam.

Later that day around 12.15pm Brooker attempted to make off from Tesco in Market Place with alcohol he had stashed in a rucksack without making any attempt to pay for it.

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When a security guard challenged him Brooker struck him in the face and punched him in the stomach before fleeing with the goods.

Brooker was arrested in Bocking End at 11.15pm on October 26 and later charged with robbery, possession of a bladed article in a public place, theft, burglary and assault by beating.

He pleaded guilty to all of the charges and was sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court on Monday (January 25).

Brooker was given 40 months imprisonment for the robbery at the Co-op, six months imprisonment for the burglary at the pharmacy and two months imprisonment for the theft at Tesco, all to run consecutively, and two months imprisonment for the assault and one month imprisonment for possession of the bladed article, both running concurrently. The sentence totals 48 months.

Ds Mick Carrington from Braintree CID said: “Brooker’s despicable actions terrified members of staff at the Co-op and left a security guard with bruising. I’m pleased he will now be off the streets of Essex and can only hope he uses his jail term to reflect on his actions.”

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