Jail for man armed with hammer who tried to grab shoppers’ handbags

Terry Jones - jailed for 63 months after two attempted robberies. Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Terry Jones - jailed for 63 months after two attempted robberies. Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk man who threatened a 17-year-old girl and a retired woman with a hammer during two attempted robberies within minutes of each other has been jailed for 63 months.

Sentencing Terry Jones, Judge Martyn Levett said he had left the 17-year-old girl and her 14-year old sister who had been Christmas shopping, “traumatised” after chasing them down the street and trying to grab a handbag from one of them.

“You turned their shopping trip into a living nightmare,” said the judge.

Jones, 32, of Cutters Close, Beck Row, admitted two offences of attempted robbery, having an offensive weapon and breaching a suspended sentence order.

Michael Crimp, prosecuting, said that on December 13 last year the 17-year-old victim of one of the attempted robberies and her 14-year-old sister went into Mildenhall to do their Christmas shopping.

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They were walking near the Riverside Hotel they saw Jones walking towards them and then realised he had turned round and was following them.

The girls started running and Jones chased after them holding a hammer.

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Jones ordered the 17-year-old girl to hand over her bag before grabbing hold of it and pulling it while threatening to attack her if she didn’t let go of it.

The strap on the bag snapped and the incident ended when the 14-year-old manage to flag down a passing car.

Shortly afterwards a 62-year-old woman was walking along a nearby street when she felt a tug on her handbag and turned to see Jones pulling her bag with both hands.

She told him to stop and to leave her alone but then saw he was holding a hammer which he raised as if he was going to swing it at her, said Mr Crimp.

A member of the public saw what was happening and shouted at Jones to stop and he had run off.

Jones was later arrested after a police officer recognised him.

Simon Walters for Jones said his client’s father died shortly before the offences resulting in Jones relapsing back into using Class A drugs.

“He feels terrible for committing the offences. He was using drugs and had run up a drug debt and was being threatened to repay it,” said Mr Walters.

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