Machete man's knifepoint robbery at service station

Bronnagh Brannigan was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Jack Bruton avoided an immediate jail term over the offence - Credit: Charlotte Bond

A 23-year-old Essex man who carried out a knifepoint robbery at a service station in Braintree has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Sentencing Jack Bruton to a two-year prison sentence, suspended for two years, Recorder William Clegg said he was taking an exceptional course by not sending him straight to prison. 

Bruton was dressed in black and wearing a baseball hat and a face mask when he entered the Applegreen garage in Rayne Road at around 7pm on March 3 and ordered the manager to hand over money, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

The woman had pulled out some notes while trying to push the panic alarm and Bruton had left the premises with £70-£80 cash, a bottle of gin and some tobacco.

During the robbery, he told the manager he had just come out of prison and that he had a machete which he showed her inside his clothing.

Bruton, 23, of The Foyer, St Michael’s Road, Braintree, admitted robbery, possessing a knife and possessing a small amount of cocaine.

In addition to the suspended sentence, he was given a two-year community order, a 40-day rehabilitation order, 150 hours unpaid work and a four-month alcohol abstinence requirement.

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Recorder Clegg said Bruton had been living in difficult circumstances at the time of the offence and had no previous convictions.

He said he had read some impressive references about Bruton and he had expressed genuine remorse.

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