Man jailed for Tesco robbery

A MAN who was involved in a £20,000 armed robbery at a Suffolk supermarket in which a stun gun was fired at a security guard has been jailed for eight years.

A MAN who was involved in a £20,000 armed robbery at a Suffolk supermarket in which a stun gun was fired at a security guard has been jailed for eight years.

Patrick Mumford arranged for a stolen scooter to be delivered to an area near the Tesco store at Cedars Link in Stowmarket and also acted as the back-up getaway driver, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Sentencing Mumford, Judge Roderick Newton described the raid, which took place in July last year, as a “professionally planned commercial robbery”.

He said that those responsible had cut through a fence and cut a tunnel through undergrowth to be close to the area where cash was delivered.

Mumford, 43, of Dagenham, admitted robbery when he appeared in court in June. Yesterday he applied to be allowed to change his plea to not guilty but this application was rejected by Judge Newton.

Matthew Gowan, prosecuting, said that shortly after 1pm on July 9 two security guards were collecting cash from Tesco and had parked their van at the side of the store near a cash office.

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While his colleague stayed at the van security guard Alan Britton went backwards and forwards to the cash office. On his fourth journey he was attacked by two men, wearing balaclavas and camouflage clothing, who sprang from some bushes nearby.

Mr Gowan said “considerable planning” had gone into the robbery including the cutting of a fence and a tunnel being cut though undergrowth.

Mr Britton was initially struck in the face but managed to hold on to the cash bag he was carrying while he tried to get back to his van.

One of the robbers then produced a stun gun which was discharged, causing Mr Britton's legs to buckle and resulted in him losing his grip on the cash bag which contained £20,000.

Mr Gowan said that as the robbers made off from the scene on a stolen scooter they were chased by a store manager and a member of staff.

He said Mumford was seen by the store manager on a footpath used by the fleeing robbers and Mumford was later arrested in Essex after the manager made a note of the registration number of a transit van that Mumford was seen walking back to.

Mr Gowan said the robbers had abandoned the stolen scooter and made off from the scene in another van.

Mark Dacey, for Mumford, said his client had admitted being involved in the robbery on the basis that he was the back-up getaway driver and had not known that a weapon was used in the raid.

He said that Mumford had not made any effort to intervene when the store manager was chasing the robbers along the footpath and the security guard who was hit by the stun gun had not been seriously injured.

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