Woman tried to blackmail man after Ipswich robbery

ipswich crown court

Joanna Koreza and Daniel Smith were sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Charlotte Bond

A drug addict tried to blackmail a man after he had been robbed in Ipswich by an acquaintance, a court heard. 

Joanna Koreza, 34, met the victim, who cannot be named, at the Station Hotel on Burrell Road in August 2021, Ipswich Crown Court heard. 

Richard Potts, prosecuting, said there had been previous text exchanges between the victim and Koreza regarding paying for sexual services.

On the day in question, there was an exchange of cash, and the victim then went back to his room to get more money, Mr Potts said. 

Daniel Smith, 33, and another unidentified man then appeared and advanced towards the man, with Smith grabbing the victim's coat and moving him backwards. 

Koreza could be seen saying something to the man on the CCTV footage before the victim was encouraged to go back to his room followed by the trio. 

An iPad, iPhone, and £200 in cash was stolen along with bank and ID cards, the court heard.  

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Smith was first seen coming out of the room, clutching an iPad, followed by the other man, who has never been identified, and Koreza. 

Attempts were made to try to use the bank card to withdraw cash after the PIN code was obtained, but were unsuccessful, Mr Potts said. 

The victim then contacted police on a second phone he had in his vehicle despite being told not to by the trio. 

Police met the victim at the railway station and he gave an account to officers. 

Further messages were received from Koreza asking for £50 and threatening to expose the man and calling him a "sick paedo", the court heard. 

Smith and Koreza were arrested but essentially gave "no comment" interviews, Mr Potts told the court. 

Smith, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to robbery on the basis that he did take the items but no violence was used and there was not the presence of a knife. 

Koreza, of Unity Street, Ipswich, denied robbery but pleaded guilty to blackmail, which was accepted by prosecutors who asked for the robbery charge to lie on the file. 

Judge Martyn Levett, who praised the police for their investigation, said it was not clear what Smith's relationship was to Koreza. 

Judge Levett sentenced both Smith and Koreza to two years' imprisonment, suspended for two years, with 180 hours of unpaid work and 60 rehabilitation activity requirement days.